CLEVELAND — Josh McCown was 2-22 as a starting quarterback since 2014 after the Jets’ first two games this season. Since then, he is 3-0, the first three-game winning streak of a career that began in 2002.
That in itself was cause for celebration after the Jets’ 17-14 victory over the Browns Sunday. But it had extra meaning because McCown spent 2015 and ’16 with the Browns, going 1-10 as a starter and winless at home.
“It took me three years and two teams, but dadgummit, I got me a win at FirstEnergy [Stadium], so I’m glad about that,” he said with a smile.
McCown fully embraced his return to northeast Ohio — literally. He engaged in multiple hugs on the field during warmups, then hugged a couple of familiar Cleveland sports journalists after his news conference.
It was an uneven game for McCown, who was 23-for-30 for 194 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, while operating with no semblance of a running attack.
On defense, meanwhile, another former Brown enjoyed a much more complete performance. Linebacker Demario Davis spent his first four seasons with the Jets, signed with the Browns before last season, then was traded back to the Jets before this season for safety Calvin Pryor.
Davis was credited with six tackles, a sack and four quarterback hits, the biggest being the shot he gave Browns quarterback Kevin Hogan late in the third quarter, with the Jets trailing, 7-3.
The pressure forced a high throw to Ricardo Louis that Morris Claiborne intercepted and ran back to Cleveland’s 13-yard line to set up the go-ahead touchdown two plays later.
Asked how he was able to generate so much pressure, Davis said, “Coaches had some good game plans. I got to go against [veteran tackle] Joe Thomas today, the best in the game. Any time you get to go against the best and you’re able to get after the quarterback, it feels good.”
Davis insisted returning to Cleveland was not an added source of motivation.
“Oh, no, man, our team, we’re united,” he said. “We believe in one team, one goal. I told all the guys from the get-go that I put all my personal feelings to the side for the betterment of the team . . . We have a mission. Our mission today was to come on the road and win; we did that.”