It is, finally, time to play some meaningful football. And no one is more excited at the prospect of putting the preseason firmly in the rearview mirror than the New York Jets. After an offseason of scandals and tabloid back pages, Gang Green is set for its season opener against the Cleveland Browns, anxious to expand on a growing run attack and the passing know-how of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Jets are favorites in the opener, thanks in part to their home field advantage, but don’t count out Cleveland quite yet either. After all, it’s only week one. Here’s everything you need to know about the betting information, per OddsShark.com, as well as a prediction:
Line: New York (-3)
Moneyline: New York (-160), Cleveland (+140)
What To Watch For
Johnny Manziel fully expects to be ready for this game. The man they call ‘Johnny Football’ threw in practice on Monday, tossing the football for the first time since August 23 after tendinitis in his right elbow kept him sidelined. The former Heisman Trophy winner said he expects to throw all-out on Wednesday, telling reporters, “Stay on this pitch count for a couple days and be ready for the time I need to be.”
Browns coach Mike Pettine said the plan is still to have Manziel ready for Sunday but the team hedged its metaphorical bets, signing Austin Davis, who started eight games for the St. Louis Rams last season.
While Manziel expects to be sling the ball on Sunday afternoon, the Jets are hoping that their options at quarterback are also enough to record a victory. New York has some serious playmakers on the offensive side of the ball – watch out for Brandon Marshall – but the question remains, is Ryan Fitzpatrick the guy to direct the attack? It better be. The only other option is rookie quarterback Bryce Petty.
With that in mind, watch out for New York’s ground game. Buoyed by a solid preseason performance from Chris Ivory and Zac Stacy, the Jets rushing attack looked god during the preseason and kept opposing defenses on its toes.
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