By Reid McEvoy
The New York Jets beat the Cleveland Browns, 17-14, Sunday afternoon, and with the Buffalo Bills loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, there is now a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East.
Browns coach Hue Jackson will walk away shaking his head, as he definitely would’ve made different decisions if he knew it would end so close.
The Browns went for it on fourth down, and they picked it up, but later on, DeShone Kizer fumbled, and it was recovered by practice squad-call up Freddie Bishop. The Browns left a potential three points on the board. Another was when the Browns later went for it on fourth down, no, you’re not having de ja vu, and once again, they didn’t get it, so they got nothing instead of what could have been the game-tying field goal.
There was very poor kicking for the Browns, as rookie, Zane Gonzalez missed a 52-yarder, which is tough to pin fault for, but he also missed a 39-yarder, which is typically just about guaranteed. The Jets, thankfully, had the exact opposite. They actually had a record set on the kicking side. Chandler Catanzaro made a 57-yarder, and that is the longest successful kick in Jets history.
Josh McCown, surprisingly, picked up his first win in Cleveland, despite spending an entire season there last year. McCown was 23-of-30 with 194 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Elijah McGuire was the leading rusher with a measly 20 yards contributing to the Jets total 34 rushing yards. But hey, if it wins the game, it’s perfectly fine. Jeremy Kerley had four catches for 39 yards, Jermaine Kearse had four catches for 38 yards, as well as a touchdown. Eric Tomlinson, a tight end, had a catch for 34 yards and Austin Seferian-Jenkins had six catches, one for a touchdown.
The defense held up great, as Bishop had a fumble recovery in the red zone. Morris Claiborne and Marcus Maye both had interceptions, with both coming in the red zone as well. Claiborne was the leading tackler, and it is never good when a cornerback leads that statistic, but the Jets were able to win anyways. Jamal Adams had six tackles, Demario Davis, against his former team, had a sack and six tackles. Buster Skrine and Darron Lee, who had a great game, both had five tackles.
Next week, the Jets return home and will get a visit from the Patriots, and the winner of this game will have a real shot to hold sole possession of first place in the AFC East. This will be a very interesting matchup, as it will be between a team that was supposed to be horrible, and a team that was supposed to be great. Neither team have been what they were anticipated to be, and now they get to go head-to-head. They won’t meet again until Week 17.