Jets shock Browns, come up with second-straight upset

Jets Browns
New York Jets defensive end Nathan Shepherd (97) celebrates a sack on Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) during the half at MetLife Stadium.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

They can’t do anything right, even if it’s losing a football game — which is much easier to do than winning one.

The New York Jets came up with a second-straight mammoth upset victory on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Cleveland Browns 23-16, improving their record to 2-13 on the season.

With another win, the Jets’ hopes of getting the No. 1 pick and with it, star Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, are all but dead after the Jacksonville Jaguars were defeated by the Chicago Bears to drop to 1-14 on the season.

The Jets’ win was headlined by a monster day from wide receiver Jamison Crowder, who recorded a receiving and passing touchdown.

Down 3-0 in the first quarter, Crowder took a reverse pitch and delivered a dime of a pass to Braxton Berrios down the right sideline for a 43-yard score.

After a Baker Mayfield fumble deep in Browns territory set up a Sam Darnold 11-yard touchdown pass to Chris Herndon for the only scoring of the second quarter, Crowder put the Jets up 17 early in the third with a 30-yard touchdown catch.

The Browns, who were without their top-four receivers due to COVID-19, finally found a rebuttal late in the third quarter and into the fourth as they reeled off a pair of touchdowns on consecutive drives, but a missed extra point from Cody Parkey following a Kareem Hunt four-yard touchdown to make it a one-possession game kept the Jets advantage at four rather than just a field goal with 12 minutes to go.

Mayfield was stripped again for a second time inside five minutes to go in the game — giving the Jets a golden opportunity to close out the game — but they could only manage a field goal, making it a seven-point game.

The ensuing kick-off was booted out of bounds by Sam Ficken, awarding Cleveland possession at their own 40-yard-line with 2:52 remaining.

Advancing the ball down to the Jets’ 15-yard-line, the Browns went for it on a 4th-&-1, but Mayfield fumbled for a third time short of the marker with 1:31 to go. Because it was inside two minutes, the fumble could not be advanced, canceling out Hunt’s recovery that would have given Cleveland a first down and life for the tying score.

The loss drops the Browns to 10-5 on the season, which put their playoff hopes in jeopardy after the Baltimore Ravens pulled even with them in the AFC North with a victory over the Giants. They currently hold the final AFC postseason spot as their wait to break a 17-year playoff drought has to wait for at least another week.

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