The Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) host the Cleveland Browns (0-0) after opening up the NFL Preseason last week against the Las Vegas Raiders in Canton, Ohio. Cleveland will strap on the pads for the first time this season.
Friday’s kickoff is at 7 p.m. EST at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Browns open as a -1.5 road favorite, and the over-under total is 37.5 points.
What to Know – Cleveland Browns
Cleveland opens up the 2022 season after taking a step back in 2021 with an 8-9 record, failing to improve on the 11-5 mark in 2020. The 40-year-old head coach Kevin Stefanski returns for his third season and a 19-14 career coaching mark in Cleveland.
Baker Mayfield is no longer under center for the Browns, and the projected starter to begin the season is veteran Jacoby Brissett. Cleveland acquired embattled signal-caller Deshaun Watson, but he will miss the first six games of the season as of now.
The two-headed monster of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt return to the Browns’ backfield. Both saw significant playing time last season when healthy. Chubb rushed for over 1,2000 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per carry in 14 games.
Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry are gone outside, but Cleveland brought in former Dallas wideout Amari Cooper to bolster the offense. Cooper joins Donovan Peoples-Jones and tight end David Njoku as primary targets for Cleveland’s quarterbacks.
The Cleveland defense welcomes back their top six tacklers from last year’s team that ranked fifth in yards allowed at 311.5 per game. Defensive end Myles Garrett and linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. are the team leaders.
What to Know – Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars look for improvements on offense and defense after suffering a 27-11 loss to the Raiders in last week’s Hall of Fame Game to kick off the NFL season. Jacksonville went scoreless in the first half, falling behind 20-0 at the break. Head coach Doug Pederson is in his first season as the head coach of the Jaguars.
A majority of the no. 2s and 3s on the Jacksonville depth chart played in the opener with many of the starters on the sidelines. Starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence is expected to play a couple of series in Friday’s action, along with his former Clemson teammate Travis Etienne. Etienne missed all of last season with a foot injury.
The same goes for the Jacksonville defense; many of the expected starters should see a few series in the second preseason game after a majority of the snaps went to the backups against the Raiders. The 2022 no. 1 overall pick Travon Walker recorded his first tackle as a pro last week.
The Pick is In
Cleveland opens their preseason schedule while the Jaguars already have one game under their belt. The Browns are well-coached and have a solid defense, but quarterback play is going to be a concern until Watson returns.
The Jaguars will feature their starters for a portion of the game Friday night, and that should help get Pederson and his team in the win column against a Browns team in action for the first time.
The Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars +1.5