The New York Jets came into "Monday Night Football" without their starting quarterback, but after a 23-3 drubbing at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, they're even in worse shape, having lost backup Trevor Siemian to an ankle injury and sputtering throughout the entirety of their prime-time appearance at home.
The Browns weren't exactly on their best game, either, but that hardly mattered on a night when Adam Gase's offense could do little more than feed the rock to Le'Veon Bell and hope the former Pittsburgh Steelers star magically fixed the rest of their team.
Here's a deeper dive into how Cleveland got its first win -- and simultaneously dropped the Jets to a seemingly hopeless 0-2 start -- on Monday night:
Why the Browns won
Odell Beckham Jr. rubbed his talent right in Gregg Williams' face. The outspoken wideout was far from the only reason Cleveland won, but he was probably the biggest reason with 161 receiving yards, an 89-yard score and a one-handed grab that gave the Browns momentum right out of the gate. On a night Baker Mayfield and Co. weren't at their sharpest, Beckham came up big to jump-start the offense. Myles Garrett had a similar effect on the other side of the ball, capitalizing on the Jets' QB shuffle to log three sacks, terrorize New York's pocket and keep the home crowd quiet for much of Monday night.
You can watch the replay, including in condensed and All-22 formats, with NFL Game Pass.
Why the Jets lost
The simplest answer is this: They stink. In reality, the Jets came into Monday's prime-time affair with the odds already stacked against them because of Sam Darnold's mono-fueled absence. Losing backup Trevor Siemian to an ankle injury didn't help, but to be frank, the Jets probably did better with third-stringer Luke Falk under center. And even that just wasn't good. After a first quarter in which they mustered all of four (!) yards, Adam Gase's offense fed Le'Veon Bell over and over again but still put just three points on the scoreboard. Williams' defense had some hard hits and confused Mayfield for stretches, but this team was otherwise lifeless.
Siemian was a measly 3 of 6 for three yards running Gase's offense before being replaced by Falk, but his ankle injury was probably the nail in the coffin for New York. The Browns were only up 6-0 after the first quarter, but once Siemian left the game, with the Jets already looking hopeless, it felt like Cleveland just needed to coast its way to a "W."
Play of the game
Beckham's one-handed sideline grab was pretty to watch, but it was his 89-yard catch-and-run score -- the longest touchdown of his career -- that really dropped jaws vs. the Jets. The Browns were already up by several scores by the time Beckham raced to the end zone in the third, but his straight-line sprint to paydirt -- at his old stomping grounds, no less -- was easily the most exciting play of the night.
"I'll worry about that tomorrow. I don't really feel like thinking about it right this minute."
Those were Gase's words after the game when asked about the Jets traveling to face the undefeated and rolling New England Patriots in Week 3. The coach also chimed in on his team's poor offensive performance, suggesting New York will likely add another quarterback in the coming days and saying Le'Veon Bell did all he could to carry the load for the Jets vs. Cleveland.
The Browns (1-1) will have their work cut out for them in Week 3, when they host the Los Angeles Rams (2-0) in another prime-time showdown -- on Sunday night, Sept. 22. The Jets (0-2), meanwhile, will have an even taller task on the same day, when they travel to take on their rival New England Patriots (2-0) for a 1 p.m. ET bout.
Relive the entire Browns-Jets clash right here:
If the live blog fails to display, click here to reload.
Thank you for joining us tonight.