Josh McCown said the slow start — four punts on six first-half possessions — needs to get fixed and he took responsibility for it. McCown, who earned the first three-game win streak of his NFL career, was able to get the offense going by converting some key third-down plays and he did finish with a 101.2 quarterback rating, third time he’s reached at least 100 this season. The run game couldn’t be found, especially after Bilal Powell went down with a calf injury. The Jets rushed for 34 yards. McCown was sacked three times and hit seven times. There were two key drives: a six-play drive to end the half leading to a franchise-record 57-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro and a fourth-quarter drive that started at the Jets 3 and ended with McCown’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse.
The pass rush was better with six quarterback hits, more plays on the ball, three pass breakups and Morris Clairborne’s interception. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson said the goal was to hold Isaiah Crowell to 40 rushing yards, but the Browns back got 60 on 16 carries. The defense had some issues trying to keep DeShone Kizer (29 rushing yards) in the pocket and after he was benched, Kevin Hogan (30 rushing yards) had success, too. The fourth-down stop at the 3-yard line early in the fourth quarter turned the game around. Still, the defense has plenty of issues to fix.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
This was an easy ‘A’ for the special-teams unit. Kicker Chandler Catanzaro made a franchise-record 57-yard field goal to end the first half and punter Lachlan Edwards had a career-high gross average of 51.5 yards. Edwards had a 62-yard punt, the second consecutive week he’s had a punt of at least 60 yards. Browns return man Jabrill Peppers averaged 9.3 yards per punt and there were three touchbacks.
The Jets won their third straight game, so Todd Bowles deserves a lot of credit. The Jets are playing hard for the entire coaching staff and that’s a positive sign. Bowles told offensive coordinator John Morton to take their shot at the end of the first half and not take a knee. It worked out well as the Jets were able to get a field goal and take the lead. Bowles won a challenge on a completion to help with some field position.