Sunday, November 14, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Jets 26, Browns 20
By Tim Graham
CLEVELAND -- The New York Jets scored another wild victory, scoring in the final seconds of sudden death to beat the Cleveland Browns 26-20.
What it means: The Jets amazingly won -- again -- and are in command of the AFC East at 7-2. They are a few fortunate plays away from being winless in their past four games, having magically beaten the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions also.
Hero: Mark Sanchez was Houdini, escaping a couple of near-certain sacks late in the game to keep plays -- and the game -- alive. He connected with Santonio Holmes on a 37-yard catch-and-run to win a game that deserved to end in a tie.
Goat I: This is a rare case where the winning team has a goat. Jets kicker Nick Folk missed three field goals, including a 24-yarder in the third quarter and a 47-yarder in overtime.
Goat II: Former Jets receiver Chansi Stuckey converted a crucial third down in overtime with a 14-yard reception, but Jets cornerback Drew Coleman stripped him, and cornerback Antonio Cromartie recovered on the Jets' 36-yard line.
Defense rises up (temporarily): After a raggedy 30 minutes, Rex Ryan's defense came alive in the second half. A foot injury to Browns receiver Josh Cribbs and dominant time of possession for the Jets' offense helped. But the Jets sacked Colt McCoy twice and held Peyton Hillis to 22 yards. Hillis ran 10 times for 60 yards and a touchdown in the first half. The Jets allowed one first down and forced two three-and-outs on Cleveland's first three series.
And then: On the Browns' fourth series of the second half, they gave up the tying touchdown. McCoy looked like Brian Sipe circa 1980 in moving the Browns 59 yards on 10 plays in 1:58. McCoy connected on three consecutive passes to finish the drive. Benjamin Watson made a sensational catch for 21 yards on a third-and-10 play, and one snap later Evan Moore made an even better one for 18 yards against Darrelle Revis. McCoy tossed to Mohamed Massaquoi for the 3-yard touchdown.
Braylon's battle: In what he called his "personal war" with Cleveland, Edwards had four catches and 59 yards. He also was called for holding to erase a 25-yard Brad Smith run.
That empty feeling: The Jets kept the ball for the first 10:04 of the third quarter yet failed to inflate their lead. Folk missed a 24-yard field goal, clanking the right upright.
Sanchez scare: The Browns sacked Sanchez on third down with 1:24 left in the third quarter. He limped off the field and had his right leg checked out for several minutes on the sideline trainer's table. Backup quarterback Mark Brunell warmed up, but Sanchez returned for the next series.
What's next: The Houston Texans drop by the Meadowlands to play the Jets on Sunday.