Final recap: New York Jets 26, Browns 20, OT (click here for the box score)
The Browns (3-6) walked away with a tough loss against the New York Jets (7-2) in part because they refused to settle for a tie. With 1:35 left in overtime, Cleveland took possession on its own 3-yard line after rookie cornerback Joe Haden intercepted a pass Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez intended for wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Instead of running the ball to wind down the clock, Browns coach Eric Mangini chose to go for the win. But the plan backfired when rookie quarterback Colt McCoy's first-down pass sailed over tight end Benjamin Watson's head and fell incomplete. Watson was wide open. Three plays later, the Browns had to punt. After Jim Leonhard's 18-yard punt return, the Jets' offense took over at the Browns' 37. On the next play, Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes with pass on a short slant route between cornerback Eric Wright and linebacker Eric Barton. Wright and Barton didn't make a tackle, and neither did rookie safety T.J. Ward, who seemingly froze as Holmes zoomed past him. Moments later, Holmes was in the end zone, and the Jets were celebrating their dramatic victory. Holmes never would have had a chance to become the Jets' hero of the day if Browns wide receiver Chansi Stuckey didn't fumble with 10:04 left in overtime. On third-and-4 at the Jets' 46, Stuckey caught a pass from McCoy, achieved a first down and then fumbled as he fought for extra yardage. The Jets recovered at their 36. If Stuckey would have held on, the Browns' worst-case scenario would have been a long field-goal attempt, the kind of clutch kicks Phil Dawson is accustomed to making. Of course, there were some positives for the Browns, too. The offense did virtually nothing in the second half until McCoy led it on a 10-play, 59-yard touchdown drive to tie the score 20-20 with 44 seconds left in the fourth quarter and ultimately force overtime. McCoy completed 18-of-31 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 88.8. He is now 2-2 as Cleveland's starting quarterback, and he has not committed a turnover in his past three games. McCoy's solid performance didn't result in the Browns' third consecutive upset victory. But the Browns still showed they can hang with anybody in the NFL, even though they fell just short in Week 10.
End 1Q: Browns 10, Jets 3 -- 1. Phil Dawson capped Cleveland's opening drive with a 34-yard field goal. 2. New York's Nick Folk tied the score with a 27-yard field goal with 5:52 left in the first quarter. 3. Browns running back Peyton Hillis ran for a 12-yard touchdown with 16 seconds left in the first quarter. Dawson's extra-point kick was good, giving the Browns a 10-3 lead. Instant impressions -- 1. Browns rookie quarterback Colt McCoy and tight end Benjamin Watson almost improvised well enough to connect for a touchdown. After McCoy couldn't find anyone open, Watson broke loose for the end zone. But McCoy's pass floated slightly too high for Watson, who got a hand on the ball but couldn't haul it in. The Browns had to settle for a field goal on their opening drive. 2. The Browns tried to surprise the Jets with an onside kick after Dawson's field goal. However, the risk did not pay off as the onside kick went out of bounds. The Jets started their first drive at the Browns' 42-yard line and ultimately ended up with Folk's successful field-goal attempt. 3. A few plays before Folk's successful field goal, Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown suffered a right shoulder injury when he collided with Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards. A few Browns players went after Edwards following the play. Brown's return is questionable. 4. After Hillis fumbled and the Jets recovered, the Browns' defense held its ground, and Folk missed a 48-yard field-goal attempt with 3:06 left in the first quarter. 5. Browns fullback Lawrence Vickers made an outstanding block on Jets linebacker Bart Scott to spark Hillis' touchdown run.
End 2Q: Jets 17, Browns 13 -- 1. Mark Sanchez scrambled and threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who was wide open in the middle of the end zone. The PAT was good, and the Jets tied the score 10-10 with 11:09 left in the second quarter. 2. Dawson gave the Browns a 13-10 lead with 5:13 left in the second quarter when he made a 23-yard field goal. 3. Sanchez dropped back and then ran forward for a 1-yard touchdown with 23 seconds remaining in the first half. The PAT was good, giving the Jets a 17-13 lead. Instant impressions -- 1. Browns wide receiver Josh Cribbs suffered a right foot injury at the end of his 37-yard reception from McCoy. Cribbs' catch set up Dawson's field goal, but the Browns lost their top playmaker in the process. Cribbs' return is questionable. 2. Browns cornerback Eric Wright ran stride for stride with Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes during a deep pass. But Wright was called for a defensive pass interference penalty, which gave the Jets 27 yards and a first down. 3. Injuries are taking a toll on Cleveland. Linebacker Scott Fujita appeared to hurt his left knee as the Jets were driving late in the second quarter. He walked off to the sideline and then to the locker room. That's three key Browns players who are hurt -- Brown, Cribbs and Fujita -- at halftime.
End 3Q: Jets 17, Browns 13 -- 1. No scoring. Instant impressions -- 1. The Jets took about 10 minutes off the clock during their opening drive of the second half. On third-and-goal from Cleveland's 6-yard line, safety T.J. Ward broke up a pass from Sanchez to tight end Dustin Keller in the end zone. Then Nick Folk failed to make a 24-yard field-goal attempt when the ball hit the right upright. 2. The Browns offense, however, did not reward its defense for holding up after a long drive by the Jets. Cleveland went three-and-out on its first possession after halftime. 3. Sanchez injured his right knee when defensive back Mike Adams sacked him and defensive lineman Shaun Rogers landed on him. That play ended the Jets' second drive of the third quarter. 4. The Browns' offense must start moving the ball. Cleveland desperately needs to keep its defense off the field. Scoring a touchdown wouldn't hurt, either.
End 4Q: Jets 20, Browns 20 -- 1. Nick Folk made a 25-yard field goal with 2:42 left in the fourth quarter to extend the Jets' lead to 20-13. 2. McCoy hit wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi with a 3-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Dawson made the PAT to tie the score 20-20. Instant impressions -- 1. The Browns' offense continues to stall. With 10:27 left in the fourth quarter, the Browns had 14 yards of total offense, including 0 yards rushing, in the second half. 2. The Browns' defense has held its ground for the most part, but it hasn't been able keep the Jets from producing long drives. The defense needs to help itself get off the field, and the offense needs to march. 3. Browns safety Abram Elam dropped an interception just before Folk's field goal. The Browns had been waiting for a momentum-changing play, but Elam couldn't hang on to the ball. They really needed that one. 4. The Browns' offense came to life in the waning moments, putting together a 10-play, 59-yard touchdown drive. Tight ends Benjamin Watson and Evan Moore made great catches on consecutive plays to set up McCoy's touchdown pass to Massaquoi.
End OT: Jets 26, Browns 20 -- 1. Sanchez hit wide receiver Santonio Holmes for a quick slant between safety T. J. Ward and cornerback Eric Wright that resulted in a 37-yard touchdown with 16 seconds left, giving the Jets a 26-20 victory . Instant impressions -- 1. Give the Browns' defense credit for stopping the Jets' offense on the first possession of overtime. Linebackers Matt Roth and David Bowens applied good pressure on a crucial third down play that resulted in an incomplete pass. 2. The Browns had the Jets exactly where they wanted them, but Cleveland wide receiver Chansi Stuckey fumbled after catching a pass for a first down. The Jets recovered at the Browns' 36-yard line with 10:04 left. Stuckey should have gone out of bounds, but he tried to do too much and it cost him. 3. The Browns have come so close to sacking Sanchez several times. On third-and-9 from the Jets' 37, Sanchez slipped away from Roth and hit Cotchery with a 10-yard pass over the middle for a first down. The catch was reviewed, but the call on the field stood. 4. The Browns' hopes remained alive after Jets kicker Nick Folk missed a 47-yard field wide right with 4:51 left. He has missed three field goal today. 5. Sanchez escaped yet another sack, this time slipping away from Rogers. Sanchez then capitalized by completing a 21-yard pass to running back LaDainian Tomlinson. 6. The Jets went for the kill on third and long from their own 46-yard line, but Browns cornerback Joe Haden intercepted a deep pass from Sanchez that was intended for Edwards at Cleveland's 3-yard line with 1:35 left.
Top storylines -- 1. The Browns have eight coaches and 11 players who used to work for the Jets. Browns coach Eric Mangini highlights the list. He coached the Jets for three seasons before being fired at the end of the 2008 season. Last week, Mangini defeated his former mentor, Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Now he's aiming to conquer his former team. 2. Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and his boisterous twin brother, Jets coach Rex Ryan, face each other for the eighth time in their careers (including college). Rex has a 4-3 advantage and is 2-0 against Rob in the NFL. 3. Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards returns to Cleveland, the city he has continued to rip since the Browns traded him to the Jets. As usual, Edwards has had plenty to say about Cleveland in the past week. 4. Today's game will feature a duel between two young quarterbacks -- Browns rookie Colt McCoy and Jets second-year player Mark Sanchez. The Browns actually helped the Jets acquire Sanchez when they traded their 2009 first-round draft pick to New York. 5. Browns linebacker Marcus Benard, Cleveland's leader in sacks, collapsed Thursday in the team's locker room. He was taken to a hospital for testing and held out of practice Friday. However, he's active for today's game, so keep an eye on how much he plays and what he's able to do.
Inactive players: Browns —QB Brett Ratliff (listed as the third quarterback), QB Jake Delhomme, WR Carlton Mitchell, OL Steve Vallos, TE Alex Smith, WR Demetrius Williams, DL Jayme Mitchell and DL Brian Sanford. Jets -- Kellen Clemens (listed as the third quarterback), CB Marquice Cole, LB Josh Mauga, OL Vladimir Ducasse, DT Jarron Gilbert, TE Matthew Mulligan, TE Jeff Cumberland and DT Marcus Dixon.
Lineup changes: Browns -- Colt McCoy will start in place of Jake Delhomme at quarterback; Billy Yates will start in place of Floyd Womack at right guard; Womack will start in place of John St. Clair at right tackle. Jets -- No announced lineup changes.