The matchup will be the sixth consecutive year that the Browns and Jets have played each other, and the 28th time overall since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. But in one of those odd NFL scheduling twists, this will be just the 10th time that the Browns have been the road team in the series, and the fifth time the road game will be played in the month of December.
The Browns are 5-4 all-time on the road against the Jets, so while we wait for the Browns to notch another victory on their march to the playoffs, let’s take a look back at those five victorious trips to New York for the Browns. (As always, a big tip of the hat to Jonathan Knight’s The Browns Bible, an invaluable resource if there ever was one.)
Browns 26, Jets 10 (December 17, 1972)
The Browns celebrated a return to the playoffs by closing out the season with their eighth win in nine weeks on a windy day at Shea Stadium.
Cleveland’s defense took advantage of quarterback Joe Namath being out of the lineup by holding quarterback Bob Davis to just 44 passing yards, while sacking him three times and picking him off once.
The afternoon was not that much better for Cleveland quarterback Mike Phipps, who completed just seven-of-17 passes while throwing two interceptions, but Phipps made the most of his work by hitting wide receiver Frank Pitts for a pair of touchdowns, including an 80-yarder in the third quarter that broke open a 10-10 tie.
Browns 25, Jets 22 (OT) (September 2, 1979)
The Browns opened up the 1979 season with a victory that took almost every possible second of gameplay to achieve.
The teams were tied 10 at halftime and the Browns took a 19-13 lead into the fourth quarter thanks in part to a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brian Sipe to tight end Ozzie Newsome. But a failed fourth-down attempt at New York’s 14-yard line led to a game-tying touchdown drive from the Jets on a five-yard run by Kevin Long.
Kick returned Ricky Feacher fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Jets recovered, ultimately turning the mistake into a 21-yard field goal from Pat Leahy to take a three-point lead just after the two-minute warning.
Sipe drove the Browns down the field and kicker Don Cockroft sent the game into overtime with a 35-yard field goal.
Both offenses struggled in overtime, and just when it appeared the game was destined to end in a tie, defensive back Oliver Davis intercepted a Matt Robinson pass and returned it to New York’s 31-yard line. Sipe took it from there, moving the Browns into range for Cockroft to convert a 27-yard field goal for the win.
Sipe would finish the day with 302 passing yards and two touchdowns, while wide receiver Dave Logan pulled in six receptions for 115 yards. The defense would sack Robinson five times, with three sacks coming from new defensive end Lyle Alzado. (Box score)
Browns 24, Jets 21 (October 27, 2002)
The Browns evened their record at 4-4 in what currently stands as their last playoff season with a dramatic win over the Jets at The Meadowlands.
Cleveland came out of halftime trailing 21-6, but quarterback Tim Couch got the offense rolling in the third quarter with a pair of touchdown passes and a two-point conversion to tie the game heading into the final quarter.
The offense had one last scoring drive in it as Couch took the team on a 14-play drive that resulted in a 35-yard field goal from Phil Dawson. The Jets tried to answer back, but defensive end Courtney Brown blocked John Hall’s 44-yard field goal attempt with 16 seconds remaining to seal the win.
Couch finished the game 32-of-48 for 294 yards and the two touchdowns, which proved beneficial since the Browns got nothing from the running game, which only totaled 55 yards on 21 carries and was led by Jamal White’s 14 rushes for 25 yards.
Browns 24, Jets 18 (December 9, 2007)
Cleveland remained in the hunt for a playoff berth with a tighter-than-expected victory over the Jets at The Meadowlands.
The Browns jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the fourth quarterback behind a pair of short touchdown passes from quarterback Derek Anderson to running back Jamal Lewis (seven yards) and Braylon Edwards (four yards).
The Jets were able to get to within two points, however, after a one-yard run by quarterback Kellen Clemens, a recovered onside kick, and a 38-yard field goal by kicker Mike Nugent.
The Browns successfully recovered the ensuing onside kick, and two plays later Lewis sealed the win with a 31-yard touchdown run. The veteran running back finished the game with 118 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns to help the Browns stay within a game of the AFC North lead. (Box score)
Browns 23, Jets 3 (September 16, 2019)
The Browns rebounded from an abysmal opening week performance to take down the Jets on Monday Night Football.
In his first game back at MetLife Stadium after being traded in the offseason by the New York Giants, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. finished with six receptions for 161 yards, including an 89-yard catch-and-run touchdown from quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Beckham’s big night was almost overshadowed by the news that he wore a $2.2 million Richard Mille watch during pregame warmups, although the watch may have been a replica rather than the real thing.
The defense was led by defensive end Myles Garrett, who had three of Cleveland’s four sacks, as the Browns held the Jets to just 262 yards of offense. (Box score)