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Jets Q&A: Goal-line stand proves critical

Isaiah Crowell of the Browns gets stopped on

Isaiah Crowell of the Browns gets stopped on a fourth-and-one in the second half against the Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on Oct. 8, 2017 in Cleveland. Credit: Getty Images / Joe Robbins

How big was that goal-line stand?

Early in the fourth quarter, the Browns trailed by three with a third-and-5 from the Jets’ 7. Kevin Hogan threw a short pass to Isaiah Crowell for 3 yards. On fourth-and-2 from the 4, Hue Jackson sent the field-goal unit on the field. After a few seconds, he called timeout and sent the offense back out. The Jets were ready, holding Crowell to a yard. Jackson said two missed field goals in the first half by Zane Gonzalez influenced his decision slightly.

“When you see that happen, it gets real,” linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. “And it’s getting real on this one play and it’s either going to make this game for us or for them. We knew if we get this stop, it was going to be demoralizing for them, and if they got it, it would have been demoralizing for us.”

After Crowell’s run was stopped, a measurement was called, and that’s when things got a little tricky.

“It was a bad spot, too,” Jenkins said. “I got in late and I was pulling him back and one of the other players told Isaiah ‘Roll over this way, roll over this way.’ I tried pulling him back afterward but the refs still put it on that spot. I was glad to get that stop and I was able to talk a little trash to Isaiah.”

Why were there so many third-down issues?

Josh McCown said he was sluggish in the first half, and with the running game faltering (34 yards), it put the Jets in some hard third-down situations. They struggled on third down in the first half, starting 0-for-5, but in the second half, the Jets converted on 4 of 7 third downs. Two of the bigger plays were to tight ends Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Eric Tomlinson. Seferian-Jenkins had the Jets’ first third-down completion, a 9-yarder midway through the third quarter. McCown later hit Tomlinson for a 34-yard strike on third-and-2 from the 11. Later on that drive, McCown threw a 24-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse with 8:30 left in the game for a 17-7 lead.

“It was good, we needed it,” said Seferian-Jenkins, who caught a third-quarter TD pass, his first as a Jet. “We weren’t getting going at all.

So how did Myles Garrett look?

The Browns’ No. 1 overall draft pick, defensive end Myles Garrett, made his debut and recorded a sack on his first snap. He didn’t play much but recorded two sacks. Garrett missed the first four games with a high-ankle sprain.

“We’re all just trying to do our part,” said Garrett, who noted his ankle was sore. “We just have to finish and make sure that we dominate every facet of the game, if that’s red zone, offense, defense, special teams, and I’m just trying to do my part.”

What kind of impact did the kickers have?

The Jets’ Chandler Catanzaro had a wonderful day. He made a franchise-record 57-yard field goal to end the half, which made it 3-0. Nick Folk made a 56-yarder at Denver on Oct. 17, 2010. Catanzaro’s kick was the result of the Jets’ electing not to take a knee. It ended a six-play, 32-yard drive that took just 31 seconds.

“We definitely stole one there,” safety Marcus Maye said. “The offense did a good job of getting us in field position. Catman did a great job of putting it through.”

Zane Gonzalez failed on kicks from 52 and 39 yards. The first miss would have given the 0-5 Browns their first lead of the season.

Who was hurt?

The Jets lost Bilal Powell to a calf injury late in the first half. He had 5 yards on two carries and caught four passes for 28 yards. Losing Powell was a major blow to the Jets, who didn’t have starting running back Matt Forte (turf toe). Rookie Elijah McGuire filled in for Powell and gained 20 yards on 11 carries.

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