The NFL preseason will start this week. On August 3rd, the New York Jets will face the Cleveland Browns at 8:00 PM ET. The game, which kicks off the NFL’s preseason schedule, is known as the Hall of Fame Game. This year’s Hall of Fame Game will be the sixth time Cleveland has appeared in it. Meanwhile, it will be the Jets’ third game.
With most preseason games, there is a question: who exactly is going to be playing? In the regular season, this would be Aaron Rodgers vs. Deshaun Watson. However, in the preseason coaches are more prone to preserve their top QBs. Also, there’s a tendency to give peripheral players a chance to prove themselves on the field. The preseason, effectively, can be viewed as an extension of tryouts.
NFL preseason: How do the teams rank?
The Jets, despite being touted as a powerhouse in some forums, did not score well in recent NFL power rankings. New York was listed as the 15th-best team in the NFL on ESPN. The publication seemed to be worried about New York’s offensive line.
Meanwhile, the Browns were tied for 17th in the power rankings from the same source. The main concern was the contract for Deshaun Watson, a player who has been marred by controversy in recent years. In any case, QB contracts will usually play a big role in sinking a team or helping it swim. A team’s QB1 can be isolated as a risky contract for almost any franchise.
If you go by betting odds, then the Jets are sixth favorites to win the Super Bowl at 14 to 1 (bet365). Cleveland is barely on the radar at 33 to 1 with the same source. That makes them the 15th favorites. You would think that the Jets would be winning this game if both teams played to win. However, you just never really know what the coaches are going to be doing in these kinds of games. Certainly, fear of injury to a key player weighs on decisions at all times.
As a case in point, Tony Romo’s career basically came to an end in the 2016 NFL preseason. He suffered a back injury in the team’s third preseason game. He did appear in one regular season that season. However, for all intents and purposes, his career ended with that preseason injury as Dak Prescott emerged.