Cleveland is ready to celebrate its NFL team’s first win for the first time in two years. The last time the Cleveland Browns won a game was on Dec. 24, 2016 when they had a 20-17 victory over the then-San Diego Chargers. It was the only win for them that season after gunning for a winless season, and it’s Hue Jackson’s only win as the Browns coach in his two ill-fated seasons so far.
The Browns almost got their first win of the season in the first two games of the season just to experience the agony of a tie and defeat. Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez missed a field goal that would have the Browns win their season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers instead of settling for a tie, and he did it again on Sunday when he missed an opportunity to take the game to overtime against the New Orleans Saints. He was mercifully fired by the Browns on Monday as a result of his struggles.
Sooner or later, the Browns have to win, right? They can’t keep losing forever.
The Browns will host the Jets on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. It sure seems like everything is set for them to win. They are at home on national television. They are playing a visiting team that won’t get much practice time. The city can sense a win is on the way.
This puts the Jets in a no-win position. It would be so Jet-like for them to give the Browns their first win in two years. This is the same franchise that gave the Carolina Panthers their first ever win in 1995, so no one would put it past them. Plus, it’s not like the Jets are that great where any game is easy.
The Browns and their fans have to think the Jets could give them that elusive first win. It’s hard to believe they will be playing great after playing three games in 11 days. Plus, the Browns defense could force Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold into throwing interceptions. Look for Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to have his unit blitz Darnold often until it hurts him.
The team’s effort for the first two games should be good enough to beat a team like the Jets.This isn’t the Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints that they will be facing on Thursday night.
The Browns should be amped up playing in front of their home crowd on national television. It can only get them going where they can feed off from a crowd that is anxious to get that elusive win.
Pressure can go two ways here. There could be pressure from the Browns for finally getting it done once and for all, but there could be pressure for the Jets to avoid being that team to give the Browns to give their first win. In a way, the Jets have more to lose than the Browns since they are expected to beat the Browns.
Pressure can be a powerful thing, so a football fan has to think this game will be appealing. There are so many storylines from the Browns attempting for their first win to Darnold’s third game as an NFL quarterback.
The Browns have been an appealing story because of their appearance on HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer. It features three coaches trying to gain power from the team from Jackson to Williams to Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley. It’s clear Haley and Williams don’t respect the head coach of the Browns by mocking his coaching publicly, and the head coach has called his coordinators out for speaking out of turn to the media about the team.
Jackson seems like a head coach who is going to be fired sooner or later. He is not the long-term future based on his 1-32-1 record as the Browns coach. He knows it, too. It’s the nature of the business. It’s hard to believe he will be the head coach when the team eventually becomes good.
For all we know, he may be coaching for his job on Thursday night, which sets up another story line for this game. The Browns can’t keep selling him as head coach if he does not get a win for the team. That could be another reason why the Browns will play well enough to win and save his job temporarily.
Cleveland has been starving for an NFL win, and the city is thirsting for a free Bud Light if the Browns pull it off on Thursday night.
The Jets are the rude guests who wants to ruin it for one more week.
Considering the Jets lose to teams that they have no business losing to such as the Miami Dolphins last week, this could be the night the Browns do it.
It just seems the stage is right for the Browns to get it done.
Can the Browns pull it off? That’s another story, and a selling point for the NFL Network.