Cleveland Browns vs New York Jets Quick Hits
By Craig Hoffman
Dec 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) celebrates his touchdown run during the second half of their game against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Raiders 37-27. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
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.
4) Secondary does good job on Josh Gordon in the 1st half – Dee Milliner wasn’t perfect but he was pretty good in the 1st half covering Gordon with safety help. Gordon had two catches for 30 yards only beating Milliner badly on a double move for 24 yards which Gordon repeated in the 2nd half. Milliner was there on coverage on consecutive fade routes during a key goal line stand. Milliner also intercepted his 1st pass in the 3rd quarter thwarting the Browns as they were driving into scoring territory. Gordon had 6 catches for 97 yards on the day including some in garbage time. He was not the dominating presence that most feared he would be. Cromartie did a decent job as well as Greg Little only has one catch for four yards in the 1st half. Cooper has some key 3rd down catches and three catches for 24 yards. Ed Reed finished off a strong game with an interception to seal it with 1:46 remaining.
5) Offensive line terrific – The offensive line put together their best game of the season against the league’s 9th ranked defense. They allowed 0 sacks so far and led the way for 220 yards rushing. Other than a bad Brian Winters penalty that negated a long Ivory run the line was pretty much flawless in their execution. Smith had time to set his feet and no feel pressure and the results was better quarterback play.
5) Folk misses 1 + Quigley and the punt coverage team are not good – Folk hit a 21 yard field goal to close the 1st half then missed a 49 yarder in the 3rd quarter when he hit the upright. Quigley had a bad punt inside the 20 that was returnable for 10 yards and his second punt was 50 yards but too low allowing a 26 yard return. The return team was not attacking the right angles or tackling especially well either. The kickoff return team allowed a 50 yard return right after the Jets took their 1st lead.
6) Pre Game report – Jay Glazer on Fox reported that Rex Ryan told the team that the “word on the street” was that he was going to be fired and asked the team to fight with him the last two weeks. Could have been more of a motivational ploy than hard truth but who knows.