Monday Morning Quarterback: New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns
By Alan Schechter
Dec 22, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (rear) goes up for the ball between New York Jets cornerback Dee Milliner (27) and defensive back Ed Reed (22) during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Good morning Jets’ fans. What a great way to finish up the home schedule at MetLife stadium yesterday, wasn’t it? They ended with a bang, beating the Cleveland Browns 24-13, running their record to within a game of .500 at 7-8. It also ended the home schedule with a successful record of 6-2. Let’s talk about it.
First of all, we have to talk about the game that the much embattled Dee Milliner had yesterday. It became quite surprising to see that he was on the Browns’ talented wide receiver, Josh Gordon, one-on-one, for most of the game. I know that I was nervous watching them battle, as I am sure that most of you were.
But Dee was up to the challenge. Every time you looked up, he was breaking up a pass intended for Gordon, and he ended up breaking up six in total. He had good lockdown coverage on Josh Gordon all afternoon. It was almost if Dee Milliner finally “got it” yesterday. The game seemed to make more sense to him, finally. We knew he had talent, he couldn’t have started for Nick Saban if he didn’t.
The defense, as a whole, was very good as well. It’s hard enough to hold a team to a field goal once in a “goal to go” situation. The Jets did it twice yesterday. Twice! No matter what happens with the head coach, you will never be able to say that they don’t play hard for him. These players love Rex Ryan. This fact is not in dispute.
The other major point is the performance of the quarterback. Yesterday was probably the most complete performance Geno Smith has turned in all season long. Why? He never forced the ball in anywhere. If it was there, he took it. If it wasn’t, he put it at the receiver’s feet, or air mailed it into the sideline. He learned that concept, of live to play another down, instead of putting the ball in harm’s way.
His internal clock was perfectly in tune. Not only did Geno not turn the ball over, but he didn’t take a sack either. He knew that if the throw wasn’t there, he had to run, or throw the ball away. He used his legs well, to the tune of 10 rushes for 48 yards and the clinching touchdown. Through the air, he was 20-36 for 214 yards and two touchdowns, both to David Nelson.
If John Idzik and company are using this game to decide their direction at quarterback, they don’t need to use a first round pick on one, that’s for sure.
And that final touchdown that clinched the football game, was the type of drive we have been looking for from the Jets’ offense. The Jets took over, up 17-13 in the middle of the fourth quarter. Instead of giving the ball up quickly, giving the Browns a chance, they went on a 14 play, 80 yard drive, that culminated in the touchdown to end it. It was nice to FINALLY see the offense put a team away when the time called for it.
Great job by the Jets to finish out the home schedule. Next week, they head down to Miami to see if they can play spoiler for the Dolphins.