5 Storylines for New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns

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5 Storylines for New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns

NYJ
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, head coach Rex Ryan and his New York Jets got officially eliminated from AFC Playoff contention. Given this club’s struggle to consistently generate offense, the fact that they were in the race for that final Wild Card spot for 15 weeks is seen by some as quite an accomplishment.

Unfortunately for Ryan, his job status now becomes in doubt these next few weeks. Owner Woody Johnson will have a decision to make, and he really has three options. He can dismiss Ryan and star over, bring him back on his final contract year, or extend his deal. Debate has taken place among media members as to whether a choice has already been made. Players supposedly love their coach, however, and are willing to fight for him over these last two games. Defensively, Gang Green’s front line ranks among the best in football. Pass coverage has been awful, though, for the most part this season.

The Cleveland Browns currently stand at 4-10, but they are more talented than this would indicate. Their solid receiving options can make plays. An underrated defense is capable of keeping them competitive as well. Head coach Rob Chudzinksi being in his first year, is not in danger because of these losses. When you look at these two clubs, you can notice that they share some similarities. QB Jason Campbell offers better play, but this position remains in flux. Jets rookie signal caller Geno Smith, of course, has also been anything but consistent. Here are five things to watch when these teams go head to head.

Nick Mamary is a New York Jets writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickMamary1,Like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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Jets’ Secondary Coverage

Jets
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to pass coverage, the Jets rank poorly among NFL teams. This week gets no easier as Browns star wide out Josh Gordon comes to town. No one knows what to think of how Antonio Cromartie will perform every week even if healthy. Dee Milliner must improve in terms of consistency.

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Browns’ QB Carousel

Campbell
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Weeden once again rides the bench in favor of Jason Campbell. This is smart because he is more stable in terms of turnovers. He will likely get pressure from New York’s front seven. Like the Jets, Cleveland faces a lot of uncertainty going forward. Each of these final few games is an audition.

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Chris Ivory vs. Browns' Defense

Ivory
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Ivory ran hard last week, but it was not enough to save his team’s playoff hopes. The Browns boast a strong front like New York with D’Quell Jackson among other playmakers. Gang Green must be able to have some kind of rushing attack to take pressure off Smith.

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All Around Effort

N
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Both clubs are seemingly playing for nothing. In football, one cliché that often gets repeated is that pride remains an incentive. Ryan’s players want him to stay supposedly, so showing up and not giving up on him could go a long way. Michael Lombardi’s second offseason as Browns GM promises to have more personnel turnover. If guys want to keep their jobs, they better treat this game and Week 17 as important contests

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Geno Smith’s Response

Geno
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the Jets are out of the postseason hunt, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg should change his approach with Smith. Hiding their rookie signal caller made sense when there was still something on the line, but now comes an evaluation process. Questions remain as to whether he is their future. Offensive play calling must open up in order to see what he has. Going against Browns corner Joe Haden offers a solid test.


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