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Halftime report: Browns, Jets tied 10-10

12/22/2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- On a balmy 70-degree day, the Browns and Jets were tied 10-10 at MetLife Stadium at the half, in the last home game for Gang Green. Both teams are out of postseason contention, and despite the warm temperatures the stands were about half-filled.

The Browns scored the first 10 points of the game, answered only when David Nelson caught a 6-yard pass from Geno Smith with 1:18 left in the second quarter. The Jets made a late push, helped by a roughing-the-passer call on Browns free safety Tashaun Gipson, who pushed Smith after he had made the sideline on a running play.

Kicker Nick Folk, clutch this season, nailed the field goal for the tie at the buzzer.

JOB SECURITY: According to Jay Glaser, Rex Ryan told the Jets players that word on the street had his job as head coach in jeopardy. If that pregame speech was intended to motivate, it didn’t appear to have worked. But by the second half, Jets seemed to find some motivation if not from Ryan, then from some of the officiating.

LOUD PENALTY: Officiating got some notice in the first half, particularly after a roughing-the-passer call against DL Sheldon Richardson that gave the Browns a fresh three downs within 5 yards of the goal line. The Browns settled for a field goal, but Jets fans booed louder for that call than they have for anything in a long time.

BROWNS GET THE DROPS: The Browns ran eight plays from in the red zone during one series, and still didn’t score due in part to (an unofficial) three drops by Josh Gordon. The reliable receiver has struggled against the Jets, and has two catches for 30 yards.

FINAL GRADES: If these last two games are the equivalent of final exams for players hoping to be asked back next season, some are doing better than others. Smith still struggled to anticipate defensive moves, and had difficulty throwing a basic screen pass under pressure. Meanwhile Chris Ivory (nine carries, 45 yards) continued to be a productive running back.