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
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