This is an unbelievable stat: the Browns had three red zone trips against the Jets and one other just outside the red zone...and they came away with zero points. ZERO! That certainly contributed to the final outcome of the game, with the Jets emerging victorious by a final score of 17-14. Let’s get to the recap of the game.
Everyone was excited about the debut of DE Myles Garrett. On 3rd-and-5, Garrett entered for his first career sack...and he promptly sacked QB Josh McCown!
The Browns went three-and-out on their first drive, and the Jets lost 13 net yards on their next drive before having to punt again. This time, the Browns had good starting field position at their own 43 yard line. DeShone Kizer drove the team down to the 6 yard line after an 18-yard run on third down. On third down, though, Kizer and Isaiah Crowell ran a rolling option play, and Kizer pitched the ball backward but ahead of Crowell, leading to a turnover to end the first quarter.
Cleveland was on their way to stopping the Jets’ next drive, but a bogus roughing the passer penalty was called on S Jabrill Peppers after hitting McCown in the arm/shoulder area as he was releasing a pass. That allowed the Jets to extend the drive to midfield, but they had to punt after that.
The Browns’ running game was rolling on their next drive, with runs of 10 and 16 yards by Crowell helping get Cleveland into field goal range. Then, a holding penalty and false start on consecutive snaps set the team back, and they could only get into long field goal range. From 52 yards, Zane Gonzalez pulled the kick well left, keeping it a 0-0 game. On third down of the next drive, CB Jason McCourty jumped McCown’s pass to give Cleveland the ball near midfield!
The Browns were in process of putting together another good drive and got to a goal-to-go situation. With about three minutes to go in the half, they turned it over again, this time with a designed moving pocket and S Marcus Maye jumping Kizer’s pass to TE Seth DeValve for an interception.
After the two-minute warning, Garrett tried to spark the Browns again with his second sack of the day on third down, forcing a punt. Cleveland drove into field goal range again, this time setting Gonzalez up from 39 yards...but he pulled it wide left. With the 0:31 that McCown had to work with, he got K Chandler Catanzaro in range for a 57-yard field goal, and of course, he drilled it to give the Jets a 3-0 lead at the half.
The Browns then made the decision to insert QB Kevin Hogan in the game to begin the second half, replacing a healthy Kizer. As Hogan has so often done this season, though, he immediately led a touchdown scoring drive, going 5-of-5 for 52 yards, ending with a 21-yard touchdown pass to TE David Njoku. With the extra point being good, Cleveland led 7-3, and it was their first lead of the season with 9:23 to go in the third quarter!
Cleveland’s defense forced a punt, so now the offense had a chance to attempt a drive with the lead for the first time all season. On the second play of the drive, Hogan’s high pass to WR Ricardo Louis was tipped and picked by CB Morris Claiborne, who took it all the way back to the 13 yard line.
Two plays later, McCown hit TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins on the 2-yard fade for an easy touchdown, putting New York right back on top at 10-7. To close out the third quarter, Hogan led a response drive. Cleveland faced a 1st-and-10 from the 12 yard line to start the fourth quarter.
After getting into a 4th-and-2 situation from the 4 yard line, Hue Jackson initially sent the field goal unit out, but then raced on the field to call a timeout. He then brought the offense back, and Crowell’s run was stopped short of the first down, turning the ball over on downs and keeping it a 10-7 deficit.
Hue’s dumb decision then saw the Jets drive downfield and McCown fool the Browns’ defense with a 24-yard touchdown pass to WR Jermaine Kearse, giving them a 17-7 lead with 8:30 to go in the game.
On the first play after the two-minute warning, Hogan dumped a screen pass off to RB Duke Johnson, who weaved in-and-out for 41 yards and a touchdown to make it 17-14. With no timeouts left, though, the Browns had to attempt an onside kick. The attempt went straight to a Jet, and McCown was able to knee it after that.
This was a poorly-coached game by Jackson. The decision to go for it on fourth down in the fourth quarter, instead of kicking a field goal to tie it 10-10, was as dumb as it gets.
Quick Hitters - Browns
- QB DeShone Kizer: 8-of-17 for 87 yards, 1 INT, 1 fumble. 6 rushes, 29 yards.
- QB Kevin Hogan: 16-of-19 for 194 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT. 4 rushes, 30 yards.
- RB Isaiah Crowell: 16 carries, 60 yards. 2 catches, 7 yards (3 targets).
- RB Duke Johnson: 6 carries, 20 yards. 3 catches, 63 yards (3 targets). 1 TD.
- WR Ricardo Louis: 5 catches, 71 yards (8 targets).
- TE David Njoku: 3 catches, 48 yards (3 targets). 1 TD.
- DE Myles Garrett: 2 sacks, but didn’t play a lot of snaps and appeared to be hobbling late.