Cleveland Browns fans will be haunted by a number of failures from the 2022 season but none will likely sting as much as their blown lead to the New York Jets. After RB Nick Chubb scored a touchdown, pictured above, the Browns were up 30-17 with just 1:55 left in the game.
The rest lives in infamy as the Jets won the game, 31-30, with 22 seconds left.
Three weeks later, versus the Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland once again blew a huge lead after going up 14 points in the first quarter. The Browns had a chance to still win the game late but K Cade York’s field goal went wide.
Two leads of at least 13 points cost Cleveland a chance at a winning record. That, along with games against the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints that they should have won, kept the Browns out of the playoffs.
There is little solace but interesting information in the fact that five other teams blew at least two games with big leads including the Los Vegas Raiders with a whopping four:
the Raiders actually HAD A LOSING RECORD in games they LED BY 13+ POINTS— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) June 12, 2023
losses after leading by 13+ points last year
4 - LV*
2 - CLE, BAL, CHI, DAL, DET
1 - BUF, IND, TB, GB, NO, TEN, JAX, ATL, CAR
0 - KC, LAR, PIT, WAS, SEA, SF, ARI, HOU, DEN, PHI, NYG, NE, NYJ, LAC, MIN,…
With how deflating Cleveland’s losses last year were, it was somewhat surprising to see that five other teams had at least that many blown leads. The Raiders failures, had they happened to the Browns last year, would have had an unimaginable impact on the Cleveland faithful.
Interestingly, two of the teams on the list, Baltimore and Dallas, made the playoffs while the Detroit Lions had a winning record and narrowly missed the postseason based on tiebreakers. Of course, the Chicago Bears were tied for the worst record in the NFL while the Browns and Raiders had losing records as well.
Going into 2023, there is a lot that Cleveland must do better but closing out games when they have big leads are a part of it. Winning those two games, alone, would have greatly changed how the Browns season was viewed. Surprisingly, Cleveland was not alone in this category.