Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer 17d

Josh McCown can relate to Browns' misery; he was part of it

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Josh McCown will try to do something Sunday against the Cleveland Browns that he didn't do in two seasons with them:

Win a game in Cleveland.

McCown was 1-10 as the Browns' starter, his lone victory coming on the road. The 38-year-old quarterback leads the surprising New York Jets (2-2) into FirstEnergy Stadium, hoping to inflict more misery for the woeful Browns (0-4).

The Browns have lost 29 of their last 31 games, the worst 31-game stretch in NFL history. "Horrible," coach Hue Jackson called it. At their worst, the Jets dropped only 27 of 31 under Rich Kotite. Think about that for a second.

In Cleveland, this game is being hyped as the Browns' best chance to avoid 0-16. They're actually a slight favorite.

"I've been on that team the last two years, and especially last year with Coach Jackson, and I know how he's going to go about the week and I know how they're going to prepare," McCown said Monday. "I watched it for however many weeks until -- 14 weeks or 15 weeks, whatever it was -- until we got our first win. You're unbelievably resolved and resilient, and he'll keep getting those guys fired up and ready to play. (That was) the case last year with our guys."

Let's take a closer look at the Browns:

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH, OFFENSE

QB DeShone Kizer: Statistically, the rookie from Notre Dame is coming off the worst game of his career, but he was publicly praised by Jackson, who said Kizer was "lights out" through most of the 31-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Obviously, he's grading on a curve. The Browns decided to endure the growing pains with the hope that he'd be the long-term answer. Kizer ranks last in many categories, including Total QBR (20.1) and completion percentage (51.4). He has thrown a league-high eight interceptions, but two came on deflections and one was a Hail Mary.

WR Kenny Britt: He might be the worst receiver in the league. His catch percentage is 36.4, which ranks 153rd out of 153 qualifying receivers. He let two passes go off his hands, resulting in interceptions. There's a lot of that going on with the Browns, who have 10 drops in the last two games. They had a quality receiver in Terrelle Pryor Sr., but they chose not to re-sign him. They replaced him with Britt, who received a $10.5 million guarantee. Brilliant.

LT Joe Thomas: He deserves a statue outside the stadium and a key to the city. The 10-time Pro Bowl selection never -- never! -- has missed a snap in his career. He eclipsed the 10,000 plateau in Week 2, a truly remarkable run of durability.

TWO PLAYERS TO WATCH, DEFENSE

DE Myles Garrett: The No. 1 overall pick could make his long-anticipated NFL debut. After sitting out the first four games with a high-ankle sprain, Garrett likely will suit up if he makes is through the week without any setbacks. He was a beast in the preseason before suffering the injury a few days before the regular-season opener -- typical Browns luck. He plays right end, so he'll be matched against left tackle Kelvin Beachum, who allowed a sack last week.

S Jabrill Peppers: Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is taking a lot of heat from fans and media for the way he's using Peppers, a first-round pick. He has him playing free safety in the deep middle, 25 yards from the line of scrimmage -- out of his comfort zone. At Michigan, he was deployed as a strong safety/linebacker, near the line of scrimmage. As a result, he looks lost at time.

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