The Browns (4-11) lost to the New York Jets (7-8) 24-13 today. Below is our game day blog.
Final: Jets 24, Browns 13
The Jets took the lead early in the quarter and never looked back. David Nelson beat Buster Skrine for his second touchdown of the game from the 5 yards out to give the Jets a 17-10 lead. The Browns, looking to answer, again shot themselves in the foot inside the red zone. Edwin Baker looked like he had his second touchdown on the ground for the game, but a false start on Gary Barnidge took points off the board. The Browns couldn't convert, and Cundiff hit a 21-yard field goal to make it 17-13 with 9:40 remaining. The Jets then put together a drive that took 6:21 off the clock and put the game out of reach, as Geno Smith found the end zone on a 13-yard scramble from the 13-yard line. The final blow was an Ed Reed interception of Jason Campbell.
End 3Q: Browns 10, Jets 10
The third quarter was quiet as both offenses continue to struggle. On the Browns' opening drive of the half, Jason Campbell was intercepted by rookie cornerback Dee Milliner in Jets territory. That led to a 49-yard field goal attempt by Nick Folk, which hit off the right upright. As the quarter came to a close, the Jets were driving into the red zone and are in position to take a lead.
End 2Q: Browns 10, Jets 10
Both offenses have stumbled several times. Early in the second quarter the Browns ran seven plays inside the 10-yard line—a questionable roughing the passer penalty on Sheldon Richardson that gave the Browns new life included—but couldn't come away with any points. Josh Gordon dropped a would-be touchdown on third down from the 2-yard line and couldn't come up with a catch on fourth down either. The Browns later took a 10-lead on an Edwin Baker touchdown run, his second in as many weeks. The Jets then scored twice in the final 1:22 of the half. First, quarterback Geno Smith hit former Browns receiver David Nelson for a touchdown. Nick Folk then hit a 21-yard field goal as time expired to tie the game.
End 1Q: Browns 3, Jets 0
The Browns have the lead after an ugly first quarter. Kicker Billy Cundiff hit a 27-yard field goal midway through the quarter to put the Browns on the board. Though the Browns could have had seven points, as wide receiver Greg Little dropped a would-be touchdown on second-and-goal from the 7-yard line. The Jets tried a fake punt at their own 43-yard line and came up empty, which led the Browns' score. Kellen Winslow Jr. was called for a holding penalty that negated a 31-yard play but later caught a 16-yard pass in which he hurdled cornerback Buster Skrine. Skrine went down with a back injury but did return. The Browns had another crucial drop, as strong safety T.J. Ward dropped an interception that might have been a touchdown going the other way.
Inactives: Browns – Quarterback Alex Tanney, offensive tackle Martin Wallace, left guard John Greco (sprained medial collateral ligament in right knee), offensive tackle Reid Fragel and tight ends Jordan Cameron (concussion) and Andre Smith (strained calf). Note: Cornerback Joe Haden (hip pointer) is active. Here is a link to our story about Haden. Greco will miss his second game in a row after hurting his knee Dec. 8 against the New England Patriots. Jets – Quarterback David Garrard, cornerback Ellis Lankster (jaw), linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, guard Will Campbell, offensive tackle Ben Ijalana, offensive lineman Oday Aboushi and tight end Chris Pantale.
Lineup changes: Browns – Jason Pinkston will start at left guard in place of Greco, and Gary Barnidge will start at tight end in place of Cameron. Jets – None announced.
Ryan Lewis’ top storylines: 1. At least one of the Browns’ biggest playmakers, tight end Jordan Cameron, won’t face the New York Jets today. Meanwhile, cornerback Joe Haden is dealing with a hip pointer that forced his exit from the game last week against the Chicago Bears. Cameron suffered a concussion and reported symptoms on Monday. He was ruled out Friday. Haden returned to practice Friday and is listed as questionable. 2. The Browns will get their first look at quarterback Geno Smith after being heavily tied to the West Virginia quarterback during the draft process. The Browns worked out Smith and were thought to be contenders to draft him but decided to pass. The Jets took Smith 39th overall. Smith has played well in spurts but has also been a turnover machine, throwing 21 interceptions, second most in the NFL. 3. The Jets are coming off a 30-20 loss to the Carolina Panthers that not only dropped them to 6-8 but also knocked them out of playoff contention. The Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins each are 8-6 and would win tiebreakers over the Jets. The Browns would have the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL Draft because of their win/loss record and strength of schedule. The Houston Texans (2-12), Washington Redskins (3-11), Oakland Raiders (4-10), Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10) and Atlanta Falcons (4-10) would be ahead of the Browns. 4. The Browns haven’t been able to hold onto a lead. They’ve squandered three fourth-quarter leads in as many weeks to the Jaguars, New England Patriots and Bears. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton called it “very disappointing” and inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said to be a great defense, “we can’t do that.” Geno Smith, meanwhile, became the first quarterback since 1970 with four game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in his first seven career games. 5. The Jets’ offense provides a few hometown connections. The first is tight end Kellen Winslow, former Browns tight end, though he’s been limited in practice with a knee injury. Then there’s David Nelson, who was with the Browns in training camp and the preseason but was cut. He has 27 catches and 324 receiving yards for the Jets. Then there’s former Kent State and Hudson High School graduate Brian Winters, who’s starting at left guard. Finally, former Ohio State Buckeyes Nick Mangold and Santonio Holmes will start at center and wide receiver, respectively.
Preview stories via Ohio.com: 1. Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon hopes to ‘go out with a bang’ in return to stadium where he made mark in NFL. 2. Key matchup: Jets rookie defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson vs. Browns' offensive line. 3. Browns wide receiver Davone Bess will miss final two games of season due to personal reasons. 4. Five numbers to watch Sunday. 5. How they rank. 6. Predictions from Nate Ulrich, Marla Ridenour and Ryan Lewis. 7. Quote of the week. 8. Defenders react to Kellen Winslow Jr. saying they can’t cover him; photo of absent wide receiver Davone Bess causes stir. 9. Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton says ‘psychological-pressure effect’ root of fourth-quarter collapses. 10. Rex Ryan says it ‘would be a break’ for Jets if CB Joe Haden sits out. 11. With Browns tight end Jordan Cameron dealing with concussion, rookie MarQueis Gray anticipating audition vital to his future.