This was a huge improvement from last week when the Jets scored one touchdown on their last offensive snap of the game. Much-maligned Joe Flacco missed some receivers, overthrowing them a few times, but the veteran made the plays when it mattered. Cool, calm and collected, Flacco threw two touchdown passes in the last 1:22, including the winner. Flacco threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Rookie Garrett Wilson had a tremendous game with eight grabs for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He showed resolve by coming back from a back issue earlier in the game and from a dropped pass that could have cost the Jets the winning touchdown. The Jets rushed for nearly 100 yards (93), but their backs made important plays. Rookie Breece Hall had a 23-yard run to set up a touchdown and caught a 10-yard touchdown. Michael Carter made some important catches. The line did a good job, for the most part, keeping the Browns’ pass rush off of Flacco.
They weren’t as impressive as last week, especially stopping the run, but they made big plays when the Jets needed them. The Jets gave up 184 rushing yards to the Browns and three touchdowns to Nick Chubb. But they iced the game with Ashtyn Davis’ interception. The defense also made two important stands. They forced a punt after the Browns had first-and-10 from the 34, leading by seven. But Kwon Alexander and C.J. Mosley each had a tackle for loss and Carl Lawson and Quinnen Williams shared a sack to keep Cleveland out of field-goal territory. The defense held the Browns to a field goal on the first drive of the second half, after Cleveland had a first-and-goal from the 6. The run defense needs to improve and there were too many missed tackles. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett also had a lot of time to operate back there.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
Brant Boyer’s group deserves high marks for three humongous plays in this game. The biggest, of course, was the onside kick and recovery. Punter Braden Mann kicked toward the left sideline and Justin Hardee recovered it, setting up the winning score. The offense was floundering early when the Jets called a fake punt. Mann threw a 17-yard pass to Jeff Smith to keep a drive alive. It ended with the Jets’ first touchdown. Kicker Greg Zuerlein lived up to his “Greg the Leg” moniker with a 57-yard second-half field goal.
It wasn’t pretty but one thing is obvious, the Jets are playing for Robert Saleh and his staff. The game could have been over at 30-17 with 1:55 left. The Jets kept fighting and making plays. The Jets were more creative on offense and did a good job of getting Garrett Wilson heavily involved after he played just six first-half snaps last week. The special teams calls and execution were excellent.