Browns vs. Jets HOF Game Preview | 8 PM 8/3/23

August 3, 2023

Andy Billman Tony Camino

Preseason Game 1 Breakdown and Betting Prognostications

3 Things Preview Browns vs. Jets:

1 – Jerome Ford  

Everybody will have the third-string quarterbacks listed as the thing to watch and you will see me talk about it shortly, but truthfully the impactful player to watch in preseason game number one is Jerome Ford the backup running back.  We have seen very limited plays from Ford and he will be touching the ball quite a bit subbing in for Nick Chubb.   Would love to see Ford in particular have a nice game.

2 – Special Teams 

Yes, it is a preseason game full of backups and first-year players, but even so, I would like to see the special teams have a good night as they have been a mess for far too long for the Browns.  It would be a good feeling to see new special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone get off to a good start and see Cade York make some kicks. 

3 – 3rd String QB  

The battle for the third-string quarterback starts on Thursday between Kellen Mond and Dorian Thompson-Robinson and it is a real battle as the Browns are not going to be able to keep both players when the final roster is set.  Mond will start and DTR will be starting in the second half.


For the rookies, I will be paying attention to Cedric Tillman, Siaki Ika, Isaiah McGuire, and Cameron Mitchell.

And finally the battle for the last wide receiver spot on the roster, in particular players to watch David Bell, Anthony Schwartz, and Austin Watkins Jr. 

Browns Notes

While stars like Deshaun Watson, Myles Garrett, Nick Chubb, etc., won’t be taking the field today, there is still plenty to watch for in the first preseason game. Most notably, the third-string QB battle will be on full display between Kellen Mond and Dorian Thompson-Robinson. It will be interesting to see not only which of the two plays better but also which one looks more natural in the flow of the offense.

Other players to watch include backup running back Jerome Ford, who is currently in line to be the top backup to Chubb this year. Throughout Chubb’s career, there has always been at least one other running back who received a heavy share of snaps. While there is no other guy in line for big carries this time, Ford needs to prove he’s more than capable of giving Chubb a break throughout the games.

Anthony Schwartz and David Bell will be fully under the microscope, as at least one, if not both, guys are in danger of being cut. Those two, along with other fringe receivers, will battle it out for the last couple of spots in that room. Finally, the most exciting part of preseason games is the rookies. Getting our first look at Cedric Tillman, Siaki Ika, Isaiah McGuire, and Cameron Mitchell is thrilling, as these depth guys may need to be called upon later in the season. Overall, it’s certainly not week one yet, but football is back, and there are storylines to keep an eye on.

Jets Notes

In the realm of the New York Jets, significant changes have taken place during the recent offseason, signaling their aspirations to contend for a Super Bowl championship. A notable acquisition involves the arrival of All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a move that has led to the demotion of Zach Wilson, the former second overall pick, to the role of backup. As he embarks on his third year in the NFL, Wilson faces a pivotal juncture in his career. Despite his promise, Wilson has yet to fully realize his potential, and this season presents a critical opportunity for him to demonstrate his viability in the league. With Rodgers likely sitting out an inconsequential game, Wilson is anticipated to assume the starting quarterback position, affording him a chance to showcase his abilities during his time on the field.

Another figure seeking to establish a more substantial presence within the team’s offensive framework is Mekhi Becton, a former first-round selection. Hindered by knee and foot injuries, Becton’s participation has been limited to a solitary game over the past two seasons. He is now vying for a prominent role alongside fellow competitors Billy Turner and Max Mitchell, as they vie for a coveted starting spot. In the upcoming game, both Wilson and Becton are slated to make appearances, although the duration of their involvement remains uncertain.

Shifting focus to the defensive front, the Jets have fortified their pass-rushing contingent with the addition of Will McDonald IV, selected in the first round of this year’s NFL draft. While established starters Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers currently anchor the defensive end positions, McDonald and fellow newcomer Jermaine Johnson are poised to contribute in supporting roles. The impending preseason contest is poised to grant fans their initial glimpse of McDonald in action, although extensive playing time seems improbable at this early stage.

Amidst the defensive ranks, the Jets’ cornerback corps boasts standout talents such as Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed. Nevertheless, a robust secondary necessitates the emergence of additional contributors. Among them is Bryce Hall, who transitioned from a role as a consistent starter in the 2021 season to a mere five appearances in 2022. The suspension of Brandin Echols has bolstered Hall’s prospects for securing a roster spot. However, his journey involves capitalizing on training camp and preseason opportunities to elevate his playing time and impact within the team’s defensive strategies.

Pay The Man His Money Picks

Our Picks for Browns-Jets HOF Game

While we personally will not be putting any money on the line, I know many fans are itching to get some action on a football game. For those who need some skin in the game, here are three picks that you should consider.

  • Browns over 16.5 points (-110)
  • Browns Moneyline (+105)
  • Halftime / Full-time: New York Jets / Cleveland Browns (+750)

Bet responsibly if you decide to put your hard-earned money on the line in an exhibition game. These games are more for evaluation purposes than anything, but both teams are definitely still trying to win.

Browns Team Total over 16.5 points (-110)

Since Kevin Stefanski took over in 2020, the Browns have played in six preseason games and have scored at least 17 points in every game thus far. Last preseason, the Browns had at least 20 points in all three games, and they have reached this mark in four of six games during the Stefanski era.

Kellen Mond will get the start at quarterback, and he’s been getting familiar with the offense since the end of the 2022 season. Stefanski knows how to tailor the offense to what the players can handle, making it effective, which bodes really well for preseason success. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the second-half rushing attack led by rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson take over and find success against the Jets’ fringe players.

Pick: Browns Moneyline (+105)

In the Stefanski era, the Browns are 4-2 in preseason games, with both losses coming in 2022 by just one point each. The coaching staff have maintained tha energy over the course of this preseason, and the players always seem inspired and ready to get their first chance to hit someone else.

Since it won’t be Deshaun Watson under center this week, I expect the offense to look more like what it’s looked like in the last two years. Downhill outside zone rushing with short and medium passes which allows the game to slow down for the quarterback and finds ways to move the team down the field without relying on incredible reads or throws. More than anything, what kind of Browns fan bets for them to lose? (Probably a smart one)

Pick: Halftime / Full-time: New York Jets / Cleveland Browns (+750)

At these crazy longshot odds, this bet makes too much sense not to sprinkle a little bit on it. The Jets are starting Zach Wilson, and while he has been a definite disappointment through his time in the NFL, he does have legitimate experience as a starter and playing against starting-caliber defenses. With the addition of Aaron Rodgers, there aren’t many eyes expecting much out of Wilson, and that might be for the best. Flying under the radar can help him focus more, and I think he can find success against the Browns’ backups.

The Browns should manage to keep it close after a half, and they tend to play better in the second halves of preseason games anyway. Once Thompson-Robinson enters, his flashy ability with the ball in his hands can lead to a small comeback and a win for Joe Thomas.

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