The New York Jets did something nobody would’ve expected a month ago — they improved to 3-2 and won their third straight game in a 17-14 win over the lousy Cleveland Browns.
The Jets weren’t the better team Sunday afternoon, but were fortunate to have gotten plenty of breaks along the way. A win is a win and the Jets continue to defy expectations. Here’s what went right for Gang Green against the Browns.
The Browns made every mistake imaginable
Cleveland out-gained the Jets by a 419-212 margin. The Browns had 22 first downs compared to New York’s 14 first downs. They rushed for 140 rushing yards and held the ball for 34 minutes. New York committed nine penalties for 80 yards. Yet, the Jets somehow accumulated more points on the scoreboard.
How? Well, the Browns imploded on multiple occasions. Let’s try to chronicle every mistake the Browns made in this game, in order.
Cleveland marched 50 yards in 13 plays before Isaiah Crowell botched a pitch from DeShone Kizer on a speed option on the Jets’ 3-yard line. The fumble was recovered by Freddie Bishop. The Browns went 45 yards in seven plays on their next drive before Zane Gonzalez shanked a 52-yard field goal attempt.
Cleveland rolled on its next drive too and got all the way to New York’s 4-yard line before Kizer was duped by Marcus Maye and threw an interception right to him near the goal line. The Browns then went 34 yards in seven plays with a chance to put up some points before the half. However, Gonzalez yanked another field goal right from 39 yards away. That miss set Gang Green up with good field position and allowed New York to go 32 yards in 31 seconds. Chandler Catanzaro got the Jets on the board as time expired with a 57-yard field goal, the longest successful field goal in franchise history.
The Browns pulled Kizer in favor of Kevin Hogan and things didn’t get much better. They scored their only points with Hogan in the ball game, but he also threw an interception after his pass was tipped and corralled by Morris Claiborne.
The Jets bent, but didn’t break and let the Browns gift-wrap a victory.
Josh McCown was efficient
McCown will never dazzle you, but he’s done enough to keep the Jets in games. He completed 23-of-30 passes for 194 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The Jets don’t give McCown many opportunities to throw downfield often, but the short passing game has aided McCown’s efficiency.
McCown won’t win the Jets many games, but he hasn’t been a detriment to the team.
The Jets were opportunists
New York’s defense wasn’t good. It was actually pretty bad. But sometimes being in the right place in the right time is all it takes. Maye wisely baited Kizer into throwing an interception. Bishop was able to fall on a fumble. Claiborne’s concentration led to an acrobatic pick. The Jets weren’t good, but they took advantage of every opportunity the Browns handed them. You have to credit them for that.