The Cleveland Browns had no trouble dispatching the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on “Monday Night Football” in Week 2.
The game was a lopsided matchup from the start. The end result was a 23-3 blowout win for the Browns.
These were the biggest winners and losers from the Browns’ dominant win over the Jets on Monday night.
Winner: OBJ lights it up in return to New York
It didn’t take Odell Beckham Jr. long to make his presence felt in his first game back at MetLife Stadium since being traded to the Browns this spring. Early in the first quarter, Baker Mayfield threw a perfect pass to Beckham’s outside shoulder deep down the right sideline. That’s when OBJ pulled off one of his signature one-handed receptions for a 33-yard gain that had the stadium rocking.
Turns out, that was just the appetizer. Beckham absolutely lit it up late in the third quarter with an 89-yard touchdown. He finished with 161 yards on six receptions in what was a triumphant return to the city he called home for five years.
Loser: Jets offense is a disaster without Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold is out for at least a few more weeks, per reports, as he recovers from mononucleosis. That’s awful news for the Jets, because they were astonishingly putrid on offense without him Monday night. Whether it was Trevor Siemian (before he was injured) or Luke Falk under center, the passing game was hard to watch.
At the half, New York’s offense had accumulated a grand total of 45 yards, and the passing game was going the wrong way at -13 yards. By the end of the game, the Jets had managed to cobble together a few decent drives and finished with 262 total yards. But it was ugly most of the way.
The only bright spot is that Falk appeared to get into a bit of a rhythm and could potentially breathe life into the offense with more time to prepare.
Winner: Nick Chubb keeps making big plays
Every time Chubb gets the ball, you hold your breath waiting for something spectacular. Last year, he quickly became one of the premier big-play running backs in the league. On Monday, he had to work hard for most of his yards but made sure to make a big impact.
Chubb finished with 62 yards on the ground and also caught four passes for 36 yards. He is proving to be a tremendous all-around weapon for Cleveland’s offense.
Loser: Jets bench high-priced cornerback Trumaine Johnson
During the free-agency frenzy of 2018, the Jets made Trumaine Johnson the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL. At the time, we vehemently disagreed with that decision, arguing he was not worth nearly that kind of money.
Apparently the Jets have come to the same conclusion. When the game began, it was Nate Hairston starting in place of the high-priced bust. Johnson remained on the bench throughout the game. That’s a pretty clear sign that he’s on the outs in New York.
The good news is that the Jets are ripping the bandage off, rather than letting this wound fester. The bad news is that Johnson is still owed a ton of money on his monster deal.
Winner: Le’Veon Bell did an incredible job with the hand he was dealt
Basically, the Jets had nothing on offense for most of the night unless it was Le’Veon Bell making people miss. His offensive line was completely overwhelmed by the Cleveland defensive front. His quarterbacks were liabilities.
Yet Bell showed a ton of heart playing like a champion in spite of all that. He showcased his signature elusiveness and burst, turning losses into gains and short runs into scampers.
All told, he piled up 110 yards on 21 carries and another 61 yards on 10 receptions. That’s a lot of production from what was basically a one-man show.
Loser: Baker struggling in Year 2
Last year’s brash star has experienced a humbling start so far in 2019.
Outside of a few big-time throws to his star, Baker Mayfield had a rough night overall. His signature accuracy was spotty, at best, as he finished the game having completed 19-of-35 passes for 325 yards with the touchdown to Beckham and an awful interception in the fourth quarter.
To be fair, the struggles Mayfield dealt with Monday night likely had something to do with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams knowing how to attack his former quarterback. But this wasn’t a one-week problem. Mayfield had a brutal game against Tennessee in Week 1.
Final thought: Myles Garrett needs to discover some discipline
One of the most talented defensive ends in football, Myles Garrett is a force off the edge and a joy to watch. He was that, to be sure, on Monday night against the Jets. Garrett tallied three sacks, five quarterback hits and five tackles, and he was constantly in New York’s backfield.
Unfortunately, Garrett also showed a lack of discipline, tallying two unnecessary roughness penalties on late hits to Trevor Siemian. The first took place in the first quarter when Garrett came in late and drove Siemian into the ground hard. It was completely unnecessary. Then, in the second quarter, he came hard on a late hit again, causing Siemian to suffer a gruesome ankle injury.
The Jets weren’t going to win. So, these penalties didn’t hurt the Browns on Monday night. But when they play some better teams, Garrett will need to mind his Ps and Qs and avoid these potentially costly mistakes.