5 things to know from Jets’ 24-13 win over Browns

A smiling Rex Ryan reached up and high-fived fans on a victory

lap around MetLife Stadium with his team.

The New York Jets coach wanted to say thanks. Whether it was

also a goodbye remains to be seen.

With Ryan on the hot seat, Geno Smith threw two touchdown passes

to David Nelson and ran for another score as the Jets topped the

Cleveland Browns 24-13 Sunday in their home finale.

”I told you this team’s on the climb, it’s on the rise,” Ryan

said. ”I think it was pretty clear, at least to me, that that’s

what we saw today.”

Ryan wasn’t interested in discussing his future, and the Jets

(7-8) showed no signs of a team simply playing out the string.

”I think everybody kind of looked at it like this was our AFC

championship game and our Super Bowl will be in Miami (next

Sunday),” linebacker Calvin Pace said. ”Just finish strong.

That’s all you can do.”

Chris Ivory rushed for 109 yards on 20 carries for the Jets, who

were eliminated from the playoff picture last week. Nelson, cut by

the Browns after training camp, finished with four catches for 33


Jason Campbell was intercepted twice as the Browns (4-11) lost

their sixth straight, and the offense was clearly hurt with star

tight end Jordan Cameron out with a concussion.

Edwin Baker had a touchdown run, and Josh Gordon was somewhat

held in check by rookie Dee Milliner, catching six passes for 97


”Things just started to unravel today, the whole thing that’s

been happening over the last month,” Campbell said. ”Being so

close and not finishing it, I think is kind of pressing on guys. We

just want to win so bad.”

New York took control with a drive of over 6 minutes capped by

Smith zipping up the middle for a 17-yard touchdown, his fifth

rushing score, to make it 24-13 with 3:19 left.

Ed Reed intercepted Campbell in the closing moments to seal the


”We were picked to be the worst team in the NFL,” Pace said.

”It says a lot about this team’s character and the way we rallied

under Rex. I guarantee you everyone loves playing for Rex.”

Here are five things to know from the Jets’ victory over the


REX’S FUTURE: Ryan wouldn’t address a published report that he

told his players at the team meeting Saturday night that the ”word

on the street” is he’s out after next week’s game at Miami.

”What I do know, guys, is that I’m coaching this team and my

job is to focus on the present, what’s right now,” Ryan said,

adding that he doesn’t know if he’ll be back for a sixth


None of the players would touch the subject, but many voiced

their support for their coach.

”I think Rex needs to be back,” guard Willie Colon said.

”This team is headed in a great direction. He’s our general. We

love him. We bleed for him and he bleeds for us.”

GOOD GENO: Smith was 20 of 36 for 214 yards and also ran for 48

yards – including the 17-yard scoring scamper in the fourth


”A tremendous performance,” Ryan said.

Smith had his first game with at least two TD passes since Week

5 at Atlanta on Oct. 7.

”No turnovers for him, so I guess he put his foot in my

mouth,” Browns safety Tashaun Gipson said. ”I have nothing but

respect for him after this game.”

BUMBLING BROWNS: Cleveland was in the playoff hunt at 4-5, and

things were looking up for the franchise.

The Browns are 0-6 since.

They led 10-0 in this one, but allowed the Jets to tie it with

two scores in a span of 78 seconds just before halftime. Gordon and

Greg Little dropped potential touchdowns, and a TD run by Baker was

nullified by a false start penalty on Gary Barnidge and Cleveland

had to settle for a field goal.

”I’m not happy with that game,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski

said. ”It’s unacceptable. It was a tough game to swallow.”

KEEPING DRIVES ALIVE: The Jets converted 12 of 18 third-down

opportunities, wearing down the Browns’ defense that came in ranked

eighth overall.

Four of New York’s third-down conversions came on the drive

capped by Smith’s touchdown run – which also was on third down. The

Jets finished with 422 yards, compared to the Browns’ 283.

Cleveland went just 5 of 12 on third downs.

NELSON’S SPECIAL DAY: Beating the team that cut him earlier this

year wasn’t even the best part of Nelson’s weekend.

The Jets wide receiver hosted Davion Only, the 15-year-old

Florida foster boy who made headlines with his heartfelt adoption

plea in October, for a memorable weekend that included stops all

over Manhattan on Saturday and MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

”I think the way I played today, I hope it made him proud,”

Nelson said. ”I hope it brought joy to his life.”

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org