Sunday, November 14, 2010
Wrap-up: Jets 26, Browns 20
By James Walker
Here are some thoughts on the New York Jets' 26-20 overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns:
What it means: Cleveland played very competitive, but its season-best two-game winning streak comes to an end in heartbreaking fashion. Jets receiver Santonio Holmes took a slant route to the house for 37 yards on the final play. The Browns are playing tough. But Sunday's loss and a slow start to the season has put them at 3-6 overall and solidified the Browns' place as a spoiler for the rest of the year.
What I liked: Even in defeat, the Browns continue to prove they can play with anyone. Cleveland matched the Jets play for play for four quarters before coming up short late in overtime. The Browns' defense held the Jets to just three points in the third and fourth quarters. Browns rookie quarterback Colt McCoy also showed moxie by forcing overtime with a touchdown drive near the end of regulation. There shouldn't be any additional quarterback questions in Cleveland.
What I didn't like: Browns rookie cornerback Joe Haden made a mental error by catching a third-down interception on Cleveland's 3-yard line. Instead of a New York punt on fourth down, Cleveland's offense was put in a tough spot, where a three-and-out set up New York's game-winning touchdown. I'm also not sure why the Browns didn't give the ball more to running back Peyton Hillis. After a fast start, Hillis finished with 19 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. But this was the type of physical game where Hillis, who averaged 4.3 yards per run, should've had 25-30 carries.
What's next: After a brutal stretch, the Browns' schedule gets easier with winnable games against the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4) and Carolina Panthers (1-7). With its playoff hopes done early, Cleveland's goal is to remain competitive and try to climb back to .500 before the end of the season. To do that, the Browns need to start another winning streak after a tough loss to New York at home.