Cleveland Browns () vs New York Giants ()Date : 08/09/2018
Time : 7:00 PM
Location : MetLife Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Cleveland Browns vs New York Giants
The New York Giants are looking to rebound off a terrible 2018 campaign as they will kick off the preseason at MetLife Stadium with a home game against the rebuilding Cleveland Browns, the opening kick is slated for 7:00 PM. This will be a must watch year for both teams as the Giants will be looking to get their storied franchise back on the track and the Browns will be looking to break through in their never-ending rebuild.
Cleveland Browns's Latest Performance :
The Cleveland Browns have been the laughing stock of the NFL for the last 3 years as they have gone 4-44 which has led to consecutive first overall picks but after the Browns have compiled so much raw talent and they are seeing similar results the question arises: Will Cleveland ever win more than 4 games again? The Browns thought they had their answer at their revolving QB door with DeShone Kiser but the rookie couldn’t live up to the hype as he threw 22 interceptions compared to only 11 TDs and often looked confused in his reads. The Browns elected to end the Kiser experiment before it ever truly got started as they went out and drafted the reigning Heisman trophy winner in Baker Mayfield with the #1 overall pick but they didn’t stop there either as they also went out and acquired Tyrod Taylor who had years of success in Buffalo. The Browns let their leading rusher in Isaiah Crowell walk in free agency after the 25-year-old rushed for 853 yards and 2 TDs but it didn’t take long to replace him as they picked up Carlos Hyde in free agency as well as drafted Nick Chubb out of Georgia. The Browns knew they needed to improve their WR unit after RB Duke Johnson led the team in receiving yards with 693 yards and they did just that as they picked up Jarvis Landry from Miami, Jeff Janis from Green Bay as well as got a potential steal in the 4th round as Florida standout Antonio Callaway fell down team’s draft boards with a lengthy history of wrongdoing in college. Gregg Williams failed to do wonders in his first season as the defensive coordinator in Cleveland as his unit ranked 31st in point allowed as they let opponents score 25.6 PPG. The linebacker corp was one of the stronger ones for the Browns as they were led by Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert who combined for 171 tackles from the middle of the defense, throw in Jamie Collins who only registered 6 games with the Browns last season and we have a pretty solid unit to build on. Veteran Jason McCourtney was the leader of the secondary last season as he led the team with 3 interceptions but the Browns are now tasked with replacing the Rutgers alum after he departed for New England. Cleveland brought in former Green Bay CB Damarious Randall and former Buffalo CB E.J. Gaines as well as drafted Denzel Ward out of Ohio State in the first-round. The main thing that Gregg Williams will need to focus his attention on this season is how to effectively use Jabrill Peppers as the LB/DB hybrid failed to have a solid rookie campaign as he only had 44 tackles and 1 interception. 2017 #1 pick Myles Garrett had a big first season in Cleveland as the edge rusher led the team in sacks with 7.0 and more remarkably only played in 9 games, expect him to go well over the 10 sack mark with a healthy season intact.
New York Giants's Latest Performance :
The New York Giants looked like they were the NFC powerhouse after they took down the New England Patriots in the 2011 Super Bowl but we shortly learned that wasn’t the case as Big Blue has only made the playoffs 1 time since 2011. New York didn’t only experience one of their worst seasons as a franchise since 1974 but they were derailed with injuries which will need to be cleaned up if the Giants want to climb out of the bottom of the NFC East. Eli Manning was brought down to earth last season as the 37-year-old completed the lowest percentage of passes since 2013 (61.6) as well as only threw for 19 TDs compared to 13 interceptions. The aging of Eli Manning has caused the Giants to not only prep 2nd year QB Davis Webb for playing time but also draft Kyle Lauletta out of Richmond who looks like one of the best FCS QB prospects since Carson Wentz. Orleans Darkwa wasn’t bad as the #1 RB last season as he rushed for 751 yards but the run game overall has been weak (6 total TDs in ’17) which has prompted the Giants to use the 2nd overall pick on Saquon Barkley who looks like a franchise changing player. The WR unit was depleted by injuries in 2017 but the positive for the Giants was the fact that they got to see the development of 24-year-old Sterling Shephard (731 yards) and rookie TE Evan Engram (722 yards and 6 TDs). Fan favorite Odell Beckham went down with an injury after 4 games last season but the former LSU Tiger has been a 1300+ yard pass catcher all of his career so expect him to give the WR corp a much needed boost in 2018. The Giants defense was weak last season especially in the front 7 as they ranked 27th in points allowed but expect first-year coach Pat Shurmur to bring an abundance of knowledge over after spending years in Minnesota. The secondary is one of the few bright spots for the Giants defense as they are strong at both the CB and safety spots and they have the opportunity to be even better this season. The top of the defense is led by Landon Collins who is a do-it-all type of defender as the former Alabama Crimson Tide standout led the team in tackles with 74 as well as contributed 2 interceptions. The linebacker unit was a reason the Giants failed to knock a scare into opposing offenses as the leading tackler from that group was B.J. Goodson who only had 37 tackles. The Giants made necessary moves this past offseason to improve a depleted unit as they acquired Alec Ogletree from Los Angeles as well as picked up veteran Connor Barwin. The Giants traded away their sack leader from 2017 in Jason Pierre-Paul (8.5) but expect Oliver Vernon to expand on a 6.5 sack 2017 campaign after only playing in 12 games last year.
How Cleveland Browns & New York Giants Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Cleveland was 4-12 ATS in 2017
New York was 7-9 ATS in 2017.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
New York ranked 31st in PPG with 15.4 while Cleveland ranked right behind them with only 14.6 PPG.
New York ranked 27th in point allowed as opposing teams scored 24.3 PPG while Cleveland ranked 31st where opponents scored 25.6 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Cleveland Browns +2
My reason for the pick :
The Cleveland Browns win a game? Yes, the Browns will win the opening preseason game but unfortunately, it is the only preseason where not much exist outside of pride and joy. The reason that I am choosing the Browns to thump the Giants is because of the young talent that Cleveland hoist on their roster as the young guys will be itching to get out on the NFL field and show management what they got. The Browns aren’t sure who will be the starting QB this season which will cause Baker Mayfield and Tyrod Taylor to take meaningful snaps this preseason. The young Browns secondary will be ball hawking all night long and I expect them to create enough turnovers for their offense to eventually get a win. Take Browns +2