The Jets rallied behind embattled coach Rex Ryan and beat the Browns to improve their record to 7-8. In what could be Ryan’s final home game as Head Coach the Jets upped their game and played one of their best all-around efforts of the year. How did it happen? Here are the quick hits:
1) Smith continues his development in the 1st half – Geno Smith played well in the 1st half but had nothing to show for it until the last two drives. Down 10-0 he led a 13 play 80 yard drive where he converted four 3rd downs including the final touchdown pass to David Nelson. Even on his incompletions he was in control not trying to force two screen passes were snuffed out. Then with 34 seconds left in the half he led them down the field for a game tying field goal mostly with his legs that changed the narrative of the 1st half. In the second half Smith led two nice drives the first ended with a missed field goal but the second was a 14 play 80 yard drive to give the Jets the lead early in the 4th quarter also completed with a touchdown pass to Nelson. He finished off the game with a five minute drive that culminated in a 17 yard scramble for a touchdown that gave the Jets an 11 point lead with three minutes remaining. Smith finished 18/32 for 192 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. David Nelson had four catches for 32 yards and his 1st 2 touchdown catches as a Jet, Kerley had five catches for 70 yards, Winslow had three for 35 yards and Cumberland had two catches for 30 yards.
2) The defensive line is tired – After months of overuse the defensive line has run out of gas compared to their usual standard. They allowed Baker to run for 64 yards most on key plays including a four yard touchdown run. Wilkerson, Richardson, Harrison and Ellis had been neutralized in the 1st half before the 3rd quarter where Coples got a sack and on the next play Wilkerson and Douzable shared one. Pace notched his 10th sack of the year in the 1st half. Other than that the pressure has a little late with the three sacks but eight quarterback hits.
3) Running game on track – The Jets ran for 220 yards (not including a loss of 11 on a double reverse) with Powell running for 54 on just seven carries including a 39 yard run that set up a field goal. Ivory ran 20 times for 109 yards not including a a 20 yard run nullified by a holding call against Winters. Ivory had a beautiful 29 yard run in the 3rd quarter on a cutback. Geno Smith ran both on designed plays and scrambles. He had seven carries for 49 yards and a touchdown and also drew a personal foul penalty that helped seal a drive.