The Hall of Fame Game between the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns officially opened the NFL preseason. Cleveland was better, 21-16, in an interesting match that saw the Jets taking a huge lead before the Browns flipped the result.
Once again, the Tom Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio, hosted the game that marked the start of the NFL madness. The league decided that the Jets and the Browns were going to open the campaign, and they didn’t make a mistake.
Both the Jets and the Browns put up a good game, not including the starters though, but only the rookies and the reserves. The biggest star on the field was Zach Wilson, the former No.2 pick from the 2021 NFL draft, who initially began the event, and with him on the field, the team from New York quickly got away to a 13-0 lead.
Wilson had five passes, three completed for 65 yards, one of them 57 yards, which he threw to WR Malik Taylor. One of the biggest draft busts in the past few years will start games behind Aaron Rodgers now, who didn’t appear in Canton.
Israel Abanikanda delivered the only touchdown for the Jets in this one, rushing for ten yards in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the kicker, Greg Zuerlein, had a lot of work, hitting three field goals, one 54 yards long. The third-string QB, Tim Boyle, had 61 passing yards, 6-for-11.
Meanwhile, the Browns’ QBs had more yards passed. Kellen Mond threw for 92 yards, 13-for-19, but he had an interception along with a touchdown. The rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson had 10 yards fewer, 8-for-11, and one TD pass. Austin Watkins Jr/ caught one TD toss, while John Kelly Jr. the second one.
Demetric Felton Jr. had seven rushes for 46 yards, the highest among the Browns. He added the only rushing touchdown for the Browns.
The team from Cleveland had almost twice as many total yards, racking up 346, while the Jets had only 188. The difference was especially noticeable on the ground, where Browns collected 172 yards while NYJ had only 53, and that was, in fact, the biggest difference.
DeMarcus Ware sang the National Anthem ahead of the Hall of Fame Game 🎤
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 4, 2023
Cleveland is oriented on the heavy run, having the top rushing duo in the NFL with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. As we saw last night, the reserves stick to the same game plan as well.
Both teams are coming into this season with high hopes. The Jets have Aaron Rodgers, and with the three-time NFL MVP, they immediately became one of the top contenders for winning the Super Bowl. They landed a few notable signings and, with the already present core, have enough power to make a huge noise.
On the other hand, the Browns will finally have Deshaun Watson, one of the best QBs in the game. With him fully focused and prepared, Cleveland could easily take the AFC North and, after that, go deep into the playoffs. As we mentioned, the Browns already have Chubb and Hunt, plus a very strong defense led by the former top pick in the NFL draft, Myles Garrett.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.