The New York Jets shook off an embarrassing first half in Cleveland to beat the Browns 31-28, their second win in a row. After sleepwalking to a 20-7 deficit, the Jets came out of the locker room as a different team, shutting down a porous Browns offense, forcing turnovers and making plays on offense. Nobody should be beating their chests about a victory over a 0-8 team but the Jets avoided embarrassing themselves by handling business for two quarters on the road…
After watching Darrelle Revis get beat up and down the field by Terrelle Pryor, getting no pressure on Josh McCown and struggling to stop a weak run game, the Jets adjusted. For the second week in a row, they were able to come up with two second half interceptions and shut out an opponent (save for a garbage time touchdown). It is discouraging how slow they are starting but is encouraging they are able to make necessary schematic changes at halftime. The Jets are giving major reps to players like Julian Stanford, Mike Catapano, Daryl Roberts and Deon Simon so there will be bumps but the lack of execution and effort from guys like Revis, remain concerning.Despite getting nothing from Jalin Marshall at returner, the Jets special teams took positive steps elsewhere. It was a strong game from their coverage units and Lachlan Edwards bounced back from a rough game last week. With their limitations elsewhere, the Jets badly need to win the special teams and turnover battle each week. They did both today.
Offensively, it was an awful first half for Ryan Fitzpatrick, followed by mildly competent play for a 16/34, 228 yard, one TD performance. The Jets got on board with “Wristband Season” and rode Matt Forte and Bilal Powell to a victory. Forte had 25 carries for 82 yards with 2 more short touchdowns, along with 2 receptions. Powell remains comically underused, racking up 76 yards and a TD on only 6 carries. He also added a reception. The formula for Jets victories is the two of them combining for 30-35 touches each week.
The guy who really turned the game around was their best offensive player, Quincy Enuwna. After successfully defending a Fitzpatrick should be interception, Enunwa made this touchdown happen out of sheer will and later pulled in a 57 yard post to set up another touchdown. The Jets badly need to funnel more touches to both him and Powell, who remain their most explosive players. After an ugly first half, Brandon Marshall also showed up in the second half, finishing with 68 yards. Robby Anderson added 31 yards.
The Jets are not a good football team but outside of the AFC West, New England and Pittsburgh, there are no good football teams in the AFC. They have a pretty good chance to inch closer to .500 next week when they travel to face the 3-4 Dolphins.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com