Jets defeat Browns 31-30 on miracle finish after being down 13 with 2 minutes to go

·4 min read

CLEVELAND -- After an abysmal performance a week ago, the Jets were hoping for better results against the Cleveland Browns in their home opener at FirstEnergy Stadium.

On a sunny 80-degree day, the Jets pulled some late-game magic out of their hats, nabbing their first win of the season in stunning fashion after trailing by 13 with 1:55 to play.

The Jets defeated the Browns 31-30 after an onside kick by Ashtyn Davis and a Joe Flacco 15-yard pass to Garrett Wilson with 25 seconds left.

They avoid falling to 0-2 for the fourth consecutive season, which was tied for the third-longest streak in franchise history. Gang Green had also lost 14 straight games in September coming into Sunday, dating back to 2018.

Joe Flacco, who started his second game while quarterback Zach Wilson continues to recover from a meniscus injury, completed 26 of 44 passes for 307 yards and four touchdowns.

Two Jet rookies were significant contributors. First-round pick Garrett Wilson led the Jets in receptions as he caught eight passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns, and Breece Hall, selected in the second round, finished with 60 all-purpose yards and a touchdown catch.

Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett, starting for Deshaun Watson as he is serving an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, was nearly flawless. He completed 22 of 27 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown.

Browns running back Nick Chubb rushed for 87 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. He also had three catches for 26 yards. Wide receiver Amari Cooper torched the Jets defense the entire day, recording nine receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown.

Chubb’s 12-yard touchdown run with 1:55 left in the game appeared to put the game on ice at 30-17. But the Jets kept fighting as Corey Davis’ 66-yard touchdown catch cut the Browns lead to 30-24. Then Justin Hardee recovered the onside kick to keep Gang Green alive.

That allowed Flacco and the Jets move the ball down the field. Then on third and 10, Flacco’s 15-yard pass to Wilson along with Greg Zuerlein’s extra point gave the Jets a 31-30 lead.

The Jets got the ball back but went three-and-out after Wilson’s drop on third down, which would have given the team the first down. Following a Carl Lawson sack and Browns punt, the Jets got the ball at their eight-yard line. However, they went three and out after gaining just two yards on the drive.

Unlike last week when the Jets didn’t get their first touchdown until 1:01 left in the game against the Ravens, the team’s offense was much more efficient against the Browns.

New York scored 14 points in the first half. The team also had 178 yards and was five of eight on third down conversions. The Jets only converted two first downs in the loss against the Ravens.

The Jets defense kept them in the game during the first half last week. However, on Sunday, Gang Green’s defense allowed a touchdown on the Browns’ first possession.

After a Jets’ punt on the opening drive, Cleveland drove 90 yards as Nick Chubb scored a four-yard touchdown to give the team an early 7-0 advantage.

However, the Jets offense responded as they drove down the field after a fake punt and a throw by Braden Mann to Jeff Smith. Six plays later, Gang Green found the end zone on a Flacco touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson.

Cleveland answered right back as they continued to drive down the field without must resistance from the Jets defense. Cooper ended the drive with a 6-yard touchdown that put the Browns up 14-7.

The Jets appeared like they were set to tie the game up in the second quarter, but a Jadeveon Clowney strip sack and fumble on the Browns 20-yard-line ended the Jets eight-play, 40-yard drive.

However, New York’s offense recovered as it got the ball with 1:05 before halftime. The Jets called six passing plays, including a Breece Hall 10-yard touchdown reception that tied the game at 14-14 before halftime.

After the break, the Browns retook the lead on a Cade York 22-yard field goal. But the Jets defense played much better to begin the second half. However, they allowed three second-half touchdowns.

Up next for the Jets, they will return to MetLife Stadium next Sunday as the Cincinnati Bengals will come to town. The Browns will have a short week as they will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.

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