robert saleh jets
Jasen Vinlove | USA TODAY Sports

Robert Saleh is making a list, he’s checking it twice … and how about a win?

The suddenly-embattled Jets will try to avoid an 0-2 start (and begin presenting receipts) when they take on the Browns on Sunday in Cleveland (1 p.m., CBS). The Jets are six-point road underdogs in Cleveland, according to Sports Betting Dime. Here are ESNY’s staff picks:

Josh Benjamin (1-1 against the spread, 1-1 straight-up). The word “woof” perfectly describes this game, and not because the hapless Jets are visiting the Dawg Pound. Joe Flacco was completely outmatched against Baltimore and now has to worry about Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney rushing him. Hopefully, Robert Saleh keeps the receipt for when Jacoby Brissett hands the Jets another L. Browns 27, Jets 14.

Ryan Honey, staff writer (1-1, 1-1). The Jets’ defense was solid during the first half last week and won’t have as big a challenge going against Jacoby Brissett (compared to last week’s challenge of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson). But I don’t trust the Jets quarterback situation: what did Flacco do during Week 1 that gives you any hope this offense can keep up with a Browns offense that features running back Nick Chubb, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and tight end David Njoku? And even if White does enter the game, how sure can you be he’ll replicate his 2021 performance against the Bengals?It will be a low-scoring bout, but expect the Jets to drop to 0-2. Browns 17, Jets 6.

Matt Musico, editor (1-1, 1-1). This Jets-Browns matchup features the QB battle we’ve all been waiting for: Flacco-Brissett. Just kidding. My guess is that this game will be more about defense than anything else. I’m feeling the possibility of a rebound from the Jets, but they’ll be on the road and the defense will have to try and slow down Chubb and Hunt. Browns 21, Jets 16.


James Kratch, managing editor (0-2, 1-1). It seems ridiculous to say the Jets have reached a fork in the road in Week 2. But here we are. Saleh raised the stakes considerably with his bold talk earlier in the week. He put a target on his back and he made a grand gesture in an effort to prove he has his players’ backs. If they don’t respond, what next? It may not be all Flacco’s fault, but it’s hard to see things getting much better with him on the field. Mike White should be ready in the bullpen. Browns 21, Jets 16.

Danny Small, staff writer (0-2, 0-2). If there was a silver lining from Week 1 for the Jets, it’s that the defense played well, specifically in the run game. For all the doom and gloom around the team, the defense should be able to keep them in this game. If Mike LaFleur can stitch together a better plan of attack with Flacco under center, they could take advantage of the Brissett-led Browns. The sky won’t be falling after Week 2. Jets 20, Browns 16.

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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.