Myles Garrett entered the game with 8 career sacks against the Jets -- most of any active player v. them. He got No. 9 in the first half. (Cleveland Browns)
Browns blow 13-point lead in final two minutes and lose, 31-30
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Editor's note: Tony Grossi is a Cleveland Browns analyst for TheLandOnDemand.com and 850 ESPN Cleveland. He has covered the Browns since 1984.
Instant takeaways from Browns' 31-30 loss to the New York Jets …
1. Meltdown: The Browns blew a 30-17 lead with 1:55 to go and lost to the Jets, 31-30. Another huge defensive breakdown resulted in a 66-yard Joe Flacco TD pass to Corey Davis. After a timeout to set up their onside kick team, the Browns did not recover the Jets onside kick. Flacco then crushed the hearts of the home-opener crowd with a 15-yard dart in the end zone to Garrett Wilson with 22 seconds to go. Jacoby Brissett raised hopes of another long-winning field goal by Cade York with a 21-yard keeper run to near mid-field. But Brissett was intercepted by Ashtyn Davis to seal the monumental collapse. York’s missed PAT wide right after the Browns’ last touchdown was the difference. Flacco advanced to 18-3 in his career against the Browns. It spoiled a three-touchdown performance by Nick Chubb and a 22-of-27 passing game for Brissett.
2. The original: Once upon a time, Jets kicker Greg Zeuerlein was given the nickname Legatron because of his long field goals. Now 34, Zeuerlein still deserves the moniker. His 57-yard field goal with 14:19 to go tied the score at 17-17. It cleared the crossbar by about three feet.
3. Holy moly: Punter Corey Bojorquez may be a bit overshadowed by the other Browns specialist, but he drew oohs and ahhs with a punt with 4:40 to go in the third quarter. The ball traveled 63 yards on a fly and took one bounce directly out of bounds. Just your average 63-yard net.Bojorquez had another clutch punt of 42 yards with 4:07 to play, pinning the Jets at their 8-yard line.
4. Ouch: Cornerback M.J. Emerson blasted Garrett Wilson stretching for a high Flacco pass to the right sideline in the third quarter. Wilson landed on his backside well into the Jets sideline area. He received attention in the medical tent but stayed on the Jets’ bench. Wilson returned later in the quarter and had a pair of catches for 45 yards to move the Jets into scoring range.
5. DL for DL: The Jets lost defensive end Quinnen Williams with a foot injury in the third quarter. The Browns lost defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with an ankle injury a few minutes later.
6. Textbook: Stefanski’s opening-drive play-script was followed to perfection by his offense. Brissett was 5 for 5 on short screens and slants, and Stefanski’s ever-changing personnel groupings kept the Jets’ defense on its heels. The Browns used 13 personnel two times and tackle-eligible formations four times in churning out 90 yards in 14 plays. Chubb carried five times for 34 yards and notched his first TD of the year on a 4-yard run.
7. Boyer’s revenge: Jets special teams coach Brant Boyer was a linebacker for the Browns under Eric Mangini. His units hurt the Browns in the first half. Punter Branden Mann threw for a first down from punt formation on fourth-and-2 from the 46 to extend the Jets’ first touchdown drive. In the final minute, All-Pro returner Braxton Berrios set up a tying touchdown with a 16-yard punt return, giving Flacco ideal field position at his 46.
8. Flacco still Flacco: The Browns got to Flacco three times in the first half. Myles Garrett creamed him on a blindside sack and then a few plays later Jadeveon Clowney crushed rookie right tackle Max Mitchell, swatted the ball out of Flacco’s hand and fell on it to stop a Jets’ drive to the Browns’ 12. Another time, Garrett appeared to punch the ball forward as Flacco’s arm was moving to release, but it went as a questionable incompletion. But Flacco still has zip and touch on his throws and he engineered two touchdown drives in the first half. He threw for both TDs, one to Garrett Wilso who beat M.J. Emerson off the line and to the right corner, and then he tied the game at 14-14 with a little flip to back Breece Hall in the right flat, who sauntered in for a 10-yard TD.
9. A for effort: Donovan Peoples-Jones made what looked like an amazing catch that didn’t count. He stretched his body away from 6-3 rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner and fell way out of the right side of the end zone with the ball. Peoples-Jones toe-tapped the sideline and actually touched his left foot just before the chalk. Officials signaled touchdown but the play was reversed on replay because he didn’t have control of the ball with both feet inbounds. On the very next play, Brissett completed the drive with a dart to Amari Cooper in the right middle of the end zone.
10. Pre-game notes: Perrion Winfrey officially is in the doghouse. The rookie defensive tackle was made inactive two days after he was sent home from practice for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. Offensive tackles Jack Conklin and Chris Hubbard were inactive, meaning James Hudson got his second start at right tackle. Other inactives: running back D’Ernest Johnson, safety Richard LeCount, receiver Michael Woods and quarterback Kellen Mond.
11. Pre-game notes: Perrion Winfrey officially is in the doghouse. The rookie defensive tackle was made inactive two days after he was sent home from practice for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. Something about a sleeping problem, word was. Offensive tackles Jack Conklin and Chris Hubbard were inactive, meaning James Hudson got his second start at right tackle. Other inactives: running back D’Ernest Johnson, safety Richard LeCount, receiver Michael Woods and quarterback Kellen Mond.