The Browns should win tonight in Monday Night Football against the Jets, but even if they do, they can’t really win. The Browns need this one after being embarrassed in their season debut by the Titans. It felt very similar to LeBron’s first game back when they lost to the Knicks after a city-wide celebration for the ages before the first regular-season game.
With Kitchens and Baker and OBJ, the expectations were very similar to LeBron coming home to join Kyrie and a newly-acquired Kevin Love. For LeBron and the Cavaliers, it was a five-point loss to the Knicks with LeBron scoring just 17. For the Browns, it was an embarrassing 30-point loss to the Titans where more often than not, it felt like they beat themselves. The Cavaliers would go on to win their division before losing to the Warriors in the NBA Finals under David Blatt.
The Cleveland Browns have their first chance to turn things around tonight against the New York Jets. It couldn’t be more perfect for these Browns. The Jets are going to be without their starting quarterback, Sam Darnold, who has been struck by a case of mononucleosis. Newly acquired running back Le’Veon Bell is going to play, but his shoulder is banged up. The Jets are also under a first-year head coach, the wild-eyed Adam Gase, formerly of the currently tanking Miami Dolphins.1 The Browns might or might not win tonight, but there’s zero doubt in my mind that they should win tonight.
With all that stacked up against the Jets, even if the Browns win on a national Monday Night Football stage tonight, nobody’s going to give them credit. It won’t salve the wounds of a 30-point loss in the home opener. It won’t calm the nerves of Browns fans that have doubts about the Browns’ offensive line, or the idea that you can build a team by simply slotting in established, talented players. Then again, the alternative is much worse.
If the Browns find a way to lose to the depleted Jets, I can only imagine what the sounds will be like on sports talk radio.
“Freddie must be fired!”
“Baker has the sophomore slump!”
“OBJ wears a watch, but he doesn’t know the season started!”
That’s why I see so many Browns fans not geeked for Monday Night Football tonight. It’s almost like the fans I know are dreading it. Let’s hope the Browns take care of their business and get out to an early lead. Let’s hope they make the Jets quit down the stretch the way the Browns did in their opener against the Titans.
I can’t help but think about the alternative, but I desperately want the Browns to keep it away from me.