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Jets grades: Solid, straight B’s

New York Jets running back Matt Forte runs

New York Jets running back Matt Forte runs in a touchdown in the second half of an NFL game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Cleveland. Photo Credit: AP / Ron Schwane


The Jets rallied from a 20-7 halftime deficit, outscoring the Browns 24-0 at one point. Quincy Enunwa (four catches for 93 yards) had a 57-yard catch that set up one of Matt Forte’s two touchdowns. “He is playing with so much confidence,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said of the young receiver. “That is a guy that has really grown up the last two years. He wants the ball, he wants to make those plays.” With 82 rushing yards, Forte passed Marshawn Lynch for 35th in all-time rushing yards. No. 2 back Bilal Powell got only six carries, but he had a 35-yard TD run in the second quarter, the longest run by a Jet this season and the second-longest of Powell’s career. Fitzpatrick rallied from a poor first half, which included 3-for-14 passing for 30 yards. He finished the game 16-for-34 for 228 yards and one touchdown. Brandon Marshall (four receptions, 68 yards) had no catches in the first half.


After allowing 274 total yards in the first half, the unit limited the Browns to 133 total yards — including 20 rushing yards — and eight first downs in the final two quarters. Terrelle Pryor broke out in the first half (six catches, 101 yards) against Darrelle Revis’ soft coverage, and that forced the veteran cornerback to switch things up. “I knew they were going to attack me, but I didn’t expect them to attack me as much,” said Revis, who led the team with nine tackles. “I had to make halftime adjustments myself. In the second half, I played him more aggressively.” Pryor didn’t record a single catch from that point on, but that was largely because of Josh McCown’s offline throws. In limited action, Muhammad Wilkerson made his first sack since Week 2. Fourth-quarter picks by Marcus Gilchrist (his second in as many weeks) and Lorenzo Mauldin (first of his career) capped the unit’s impressive turnaround.


Nick Folk connected on a 24-yard field goal and four PATs. Lachlan Edwards had six punts with a net average of 42.3. He also had a 57-yarder and pinned the Browns at the 1-yard line with a 48-yard fourth-quarter punt. Nick Marshall had one kickoff return for 24 yards and Jalin Marshall averaged 7.5 yards on two punt returns.


Sometimes, a few choice words can do the trick. Halftime remarks from Todd Bowles and receivers coach Karl Dorrell (and even Revis) ignited the second-half surge. It was the largest halftime road deficit the Jets have overcome in team history. The listlessness they displayed in the first and second quarters was replaced by some much-needed swagger at just the right time. Said Bowles: “We needed an attitude check.” Coordinator Chan Gailey called a good game, but the balance of snaps between Forte and Powell is head-scratching. Perhaps Forte’s 10 first-half carries to Powell’s one contributed to the offense’s early struggles.


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