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Football Preview: It’s Time for the Browns to Step Up; Clemson Poised to Run Through Syracuse

Cleveland Browns (0-1) vs. New York Jets (0-1)
Monday, September 16, at 8:15pm ET on ESPN
It’s weird to think that the Browns came into this season brimming with hope and dreams of a playoff appearance for the first time since 2002. They closed out the 2018 season by winning five of seven as Baker Mayfield completed 151 of 221 for 1,957 yards and 17 TDs and just three sacks. This was to be the season he and the Browns took the next step. Instead, Mayfield opened the 2019 season by throwing three picks and getting sacked in the end zone for a safety against the Titans en route to a 43-13 loss. Oh, and Mayfield hurt his wrist — he’s expected back this weekend, however. Making things worse, the Browns committed 18 penalties for a total of 182 yards — 3rd- and 13th-most all time, respectively — that is no way to win.

The Jets have been pretty bad of late, winning just 14 games over their previous three seasons, but opened 2019 by jumping out to a 16-0 lead over the Bills midway through the third quarter. Alas, they promptly spit the bit, as is their custom, giving up 17 unanswered points in the final 20 minutes. But there were rays of sunshine, including a pretty good day from Sam Darnold, who hit on 28 of 41, though he amassed just 175 yards and one TD. The Browns are 2.5-point favorites despite being on the road — take the points, it’s the Jets for crying out loud.

DateDayTime (ET)AwayHomeNetworkAvailable on Sling
26-Jan Sun3:00 PM NFC AFC ESPN Sling Orange

#1 Clemson (2-0) at Syracuse (1-1)
Saturday, September 14, at 7:30pm ET on ABC
Clemson defeated #12 Texas A&M last week by a score of 24-10, though it wasn’t that close as the Aggies scored a meaningless touchdown with six seconds left on the clock. The Tigers’ sophomore QB Trevor Lawrence has now started his college career with 17 straight victories, as he’s completed 296 of 455 for 3,716 yards and 32 touchdowns, with just seven interceptions. Lawrence has been getting help from junior Travis Etienne and sophomore Lyn-J Dixon, who’ve rushed a combined 47 times for 401 yards and five scores. Suffice to say the Clemson title defense is coming along swimmingly. On the other side of the line of scrimmage will be Syracuse, who opened the season ranked 22nd in the nation, won their season opener against Liberty 24-0 only to come crashing down to earth last weekend against Maryland, as the Terps trounced the Orangemen 63-20, rushing for 354 yards and six TDs on just 45 carries. The Orangemen played Clemson tough last year, losing just 27-23 on a last minute TD run by Ettienne. If the Syracuse D-line doesn’t tighten up its game, this could be a long one.

Other big college games this Saturday include:
Arkansas State at #3 Georgia
Noon on ESPN2
State’s Omar Bayless is leads the nation in TD receptions with five and is third with 281 receiving yards.

Pitt at #13 Penn State
Noon on ABC
Nittany Lions QB Sean Clifford’s passer rating of 215 is 4th in the land.

Florida State at #25 Virginia
7:30pm on ACC
FSU RB Cam Akers leads the nation in yards from scrimmage with 376.


Date Day Time (ET) Away Home ChannelAvailable on Sling TV
13-Jan Mon 8:00 CFP National Championship #3 Clemson Tigers vs. #1 LSU Tigers ESPN Sling Orange