Jets Find A Way To Defeat Browns In Overtime

-- The first look at the Jets upcoming game against the Cleveland Browns, led by former head coach Eric Mangini. -- See SB Nation's Gang Green Nation for more coverage

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Cotchery Unsure How Long He Will Be Out

New York Jets wide reciever Jerricho Cotchery is optimistic that he will not miss much time with a slight groin tear.

“They just said they’re going to see how my body responds to it and go from there,” Cotchery said. “Usually when it’s bad, they can put a timetable on right away.”

Cotchery said rehab will include ice, stimulation treatment and tissue massage. He was in “quite a bit of pain” after the Jets’ 26-20 overtime win at Cleveland, which he said had lessened today, another positive.

He said there have been no discussions about surgery at this point.


Grading Out Jets/Browns

Quarterback (A) - What was that about a sophomore slump or Mark Sanchez being the reason the Jets can't win a Super Bowl in 2010? The stats were pretty nice (27/44, 299 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD) but you needed to watch this game to appreciate how often Sanchez got out of the trouble and stepped up in a big spot with a clutch play. When the spot gets bigger, Sanchez consistently plays better. He also demonstrated his toughness by playing and playing well through his calf injury. If the Jets are in a tight game late, there is no reason not to be confident that #6 can't get the job done.

Running Backs (A-) - This is what we've been waiting to see, a little old school ground and pound from the Jets two headed monster at running back. Shonn Greene ran hard all game with 72 yards on 20 carries and looked capable in the passing attack finally. LaDainian Tomlinson added another 110 total yards and hopefully will settle into a 1B option at running back the rest of the year, along with being the team's third down back.

Wide Receivers (A) - Santonio Holmes is about as clutch as it gets in the NFL at wide receiver. He has added a dimension to this offense that I have never seen since I began watching the team. I can't say enough about the play Jerricho Cotchery made in overtime by making a leaping catch on one leg after pulling his groin. It is a shame that he is going to miss a few games now because he looked to settle in his role as the #3 WR with 3 big catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. Braylon Edwards quietly had another productive game (4 receptions, 59 yards). Brad Smith did well in an expanded role in the Tiger formation with 39 rushing yards but will now need to assume more reps at traditional receiver because of Cotchery's injury.

TIght Ends (C) - A quiet day for Dustin Keller with 3 receptions for 25 yards on 9 targets.

Offensive Line (A-) - They get a bump in the grade for not missing a beat when Rob Turner replaced Matt Slauson. The pass protection was just okay but I liked the push they were getting in the running game. I do think Turner is more than capable of holding the fort down if Slauson has to miss a game or two.

Defensive Line (B) - They were solid against the run overall, holding Peyton Hillis to 82 yards. The pass rush still remains completely non-existent from this group though. Another game with zero stats recorded from Vernon Gholston and Trevor Pryce...the Jets need more from their depth players at this spot.

Linebackers (B) - I do know that Calvin Pace and Jason Taylor each recorded a sack. However, you are kidding yourself if you think this pass rush is anywhere near where it needs to be. David Harris and Bart Scott weren't as active as usual, yet they get credit for solid work against Cleveland's running game.

Secondary (C) - I am taking this out on Eric Smith and Jim Leonhard who are getting beat like a drum every week by opposing team's tight ends. Darrelle Revis was beat by backup tight end Evan Moore in a big spot. James Ihedigbo recorded a sack. Kyle Wilson looked capable as the nickel back.

Special Teams (D) - What the Folk? I hope he got all the misses out of his system yesterday. Wilson and Leonhard were good on punt returns, as each had a 18 yard return.

Coaching (C+) - I didn't like the decision not to go for the win at the end of regulation. This team should always aggressively be playing for the win. Brian Schottenheimer did a good (gasp) job with the play-calling yesterday.


Lucky? I Don't Care...New York Jets Just Keep Winning

Many people will continue to question the validity of the New York Jets' 7-2 record after they escaped with their second straight overtime victory, this time 26-20 against the Cleveland Browns. However, don't listen to any of that nonsense. There is something to be said for a football team that finds a way to win close games week after week. This Jets team knows how to win and a big reason for that is because their second year quarterback is maturing at a rapid pace.

Mark Sanchez arguably played his best complete game as a professional today. It is time to stop with the questions about his future as this team's franchise quarterback. He has "it," and whatever that "it" good enough for the Jets to be serious Super Bowl contenders this year. Sanchez was looking a little bit like Ben Roethlisberger today with the way he was avoiding pressure and finding receivers down field, despite dealing with a calf injury. 

This would have been a tough loss to swallow because the Jets completely dominated from about half way through the second quarter up until the final minutes. They did a poor job finishing drives and Nick Folk had a 2009 throwback performance by missing three field goals. We will give him a slight pass because he has been good so far this year and Cleveland is a notoriously tough place to kick. Yet, another miss or two in the following week and he could be heading back to the unemployment line.

Other problem areas: I absolutely hated the Jets decision to let the game go into overtime. There is no room for that "playing not to lose" BS this year. You always go for the win, especially with the way Sanchez has been playing. The Jets defense is also far from being elite this year because elite defenses don't allow rookie quarterbacks to drive down the field to tie the game in the final minute. Darrelle Revis, you really let Evan Moore catch that on you...Evan Moore? The pass rush is still inconsistent and Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith continued to struggle heavily in pass coverage.

However, I loved what I saw from the running game today. Twenty carries for Shonn is about time. Jerricho Cotchery had a much needed bounce back performance. His catch in overtime was one of the gutsiest plays I have ever seen. LaDainian Tomlinson had 110 total yards. Brad Smith was great in extended action. Kyle Wilson looked like a competent football player and Brian Schottenheimer was finally in a good rhythm as a play-caller. 

Enough of this "lucky" talk. Anybody who has watched Cleveland the past few weeks knows they are a quality football team and it is impressive the way Jets statistically dominated the game in their building and found a way to win despite their field goal kicker and some questionable decisions. The Jets are 7-2 and very much in the discussion as the best team in the NFL. 


Jets 26, Browns 20 (OT): Jets Win In Final Seconds Of Overtime

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Mark Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes for a 37- yard touchdown with 16 seconds left in overtime to lift the New York Jets over Cleveland, 26-20.

The contest appeared to be headed for the first tie in the NFL since the Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals ended in a 13-all deadlock nearly two years ago, but the Jets received the football on the Browns’ 37 after a modest punt return by Jim Leonhard.

On the first play of the series, Sanchez dropped back and found Holmes, who broke free over the middle and raced the remainder of the way down the left sideline for the deciding score.

"You talk about how resilient this football team is — that’s two wins in a row on the road, in overtime," said Jets head coach Rex Ryan. "And that’s about as tough as it gets, but we found ways to get it done right there at the end."

Sanchez finished 27-of-44 for 299 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Jets (7-2), who played back-to-back overtime games for the first time since 2003 and avoided their first tie since 1988.

Holmes ended with 76 yards on five catches and Shonn Greene posted 72 yards on 20 carries for New York, which posted a 23-20 overtime win at Detroit last week.

Colt McCoy wound up throwing for 205 yards and a score on 18-of-31 passing for the Browns (3-6), who haven’t won an OT contest since a 33-30 decision at Baltimore on November 18, 2006.

Peyton Hillis added 82 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries for Cleveland, which had won two in a row including a 34-14 drubbing of New England last Sunday.

"What I told the players was how I feel. We made some mistakes and put ourselves in some holes but that being said, I’m proud of the way they fought," said Browns head coach Eric Mangini, who failed to beat one of his former employers for the second straight week. Mangini had been head coach of the Jets from 2006-08 and also served as a coach there in the late 1990s. "I salute the way they dealt with difficult situations."

On the Browns’ first drive of overtime, Chansi Stuckey had the ball ripped away in Jets territory and New York set up on its own 36. Nick Folk then missed a 47-yard attempt wide right with 4:51 left in OT, his third miss of the contest in five attempts.

Cleveland failed to move the ball past midfield, and after a punt, the Jets started from their own nine with 3:06 to go. New York faced a 3rd-and-14 from its own 46 with 1:46 left and Sanchez threw deep for Braylon Edwards, but Joe Haden came down with the ball at the Browns’ three.

The Browns didn’t move the ball on that series, and it proved costly when the Jets won the game on their next offensive play.

"This was an easy game to lose," Sanchez admitted. "One mistake couldve lost it for us. But we were resilient for another week."

Phil Dawson hit a 34-yard field goal to complete Cleveland’s first drive of the contest. His onside kick went out of bounds untouched just after the 10- yard limit, and the Jets took over on the Browns’ 42. Folk capped the drive with a 27-yard field goal.

Hillis fumbled at his own 31 on the Browns’ next drive and New York took over there, but the Jets stalled and Folk’s 48-yard attempt sailed wide right.

The Browns responded with a 61-yard drive ending with Hillis’ 12-yard TD run for a 10-3 game, but the Jets struck back to tie on a 25-yard connection between Sanchez and Jerricho Cotchery inside the four minutes of the second quarter.

Helped by a 37-yard catch-and-run by Josh Cribbs to the Jets’ five, Cleveland took a 13-10 lead on the following drive when Dawson booted a 23-yarder.

New York then moved ahead 17-13 with 23 seconds left in the half when Sanchez capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a one-yard plunge.

The Jets took the second-half kick and worked 19 plays over 10-plus minutes, but failed to add to their lead when Nick Folk clanked a 24-yarder off the right upright.

The Browns failed to convert on their two possessions in the quarter.

Folk managed to redeem himself with a 25-yard make to put the Jets ahead by a 20-13 count with 2:42 remaining, ending a 56-yard, 13-play march, but the Browns had a comeback in store.

McCoy found Mohamed Massaquoi for a three-yard scoring strike with 44 seconds to go, and Dawson’s extra point forged a 20-20 deadlock.

"Obviously, it’s frustrating, it’s not what you want but there are a lot of things you can learn," McCoy said of the loss. "We play to win, that’s the goal. Just to hang in there and fight, was huge…that two-minute drill to go back and tie the game, we had to take advantage of it and did."

New York racked up 456 yards of total offense to 303 for Cleveland…Cotchery finished with 43 yards on three catches…Cleveland had won four of the last five meetings coming in and despite the loss, has taken 12 of the 20 total matchups since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger…The Jets split those 2003 OT games, losing at home to the Giants (November 2) and winning in Oakland (November 9)…Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown left the game late in the first quarter and did not return after suffering an apparent shoulder injury.

Final - 11.14.2010 1 2 3 4 OT Total
New York Jets 3 14 0 3 6 26
Cleveland Browns 10 3 0 7 0 20

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Jets At Browns: Key Matchup Might Be Ryan Vs. Ryan

(Sports Network) – “Brother…can you spare a third-down conversion?”

In a game ripe with matchups between ex-employees, it may be the clash of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan and Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan that generates the most on-field fun when their teams meet this Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

The twin brothers will face off for the first time since Rex took over the Jets in his own inimitable style in 2009, mixing press-room hyperbole with playtime chaos en route to a berth in the AFC Championship Game. Meanwhile, the lesser-known Rob is climbing the hot list of prospective coaches and could face his brother in a head coach vs. head coach showdown by this time next year.

The Jets’ boss said he is ready to unleash some trash talk.

“I’m sure we’ll talk about each other’s children, wives, whatever,” Rex Ryan said. “It’s going to get ugly.”

The players, meanwhile, will feel the wrath of the rivalry on the field.

“If he’s half of what Rex is, it’s going to be a major pain for 60 minutes,” Jets center Nick Mangold said of Cleveland’s Ryan.

Oh, and the man Rex replaced in New York — Eric Mangini — has landed as the “other” Ryan’s boss with the Browns. The remaining Jets from the Mangini era have acknowledged the impending matchup during game week run-up, but hardly showered their former boss with praise for his work during a 23-25 tenure from 2006-08 that included one playoff appearance.

“There’s no hatred with us as the New York Jets organization (from) when Mangini was here,” said cornerback Darrelle Revis, a 2007 draft pick who played two years under him in New York. “Smart guy. He did all he could. Now he’s in a different place. I’m sure he’s looking forward to this game.”

The Jets head to the weekend in first place in the AFC East Division, leading the also 6-2 New England Patriots by virtue of an early-season head-to-head win. New York is coming off a 23-20 come-from-behind overtime victory at Detroit this past Sunday.

Cleveland, meanwhile, is 3-5 and third in the AFC North, three games in back of the front-running tandem of Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

“It’s going to be special,” Mangini said in reference to meeting the Jets seven days after facing another former team in the Patriots, for whom he’d once been an assistant under Bill Belichick. “And last week was special, too.”

Cleveland defeated New England by a 34-14 count last week, the team’s second consecutive impressive win. Prior to a Week 8 bye, the Browns handed defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans a 30-17 loss in the Superdome on Oct. 24.

Mangini said he’s more at ease in all facets of the job in Ohio, particularly facing a media horde less venomous than the one in the Big Apple.

“It’s less scripted for me (in Cleveland),” he said. “I know what I want to say. I know the points I want to get across. Not reading it as much as just feeling it and getting the same point across, but from the heart. I think the best thing that I’ve learned is to take the best things from the people that I’ve been with who are outstanding, but do it in my way. It’s more effective, more authentic.”


Jets At Browns: Fantasy Football Focus

(Sports Network) – Mark Sanchez is a weekly question mark, but among his primary targets, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and tight end Dustin Keller can all be considered wise options, as could LaDainian Tomlinson in some role out of the backfield. Kicker Nick Folk is also a good play along with an aggressive New York defense facing a rookie — albeit successful so far — quarterback. For the Browns, it’s hard to turn away from a red-hot Peyton Hillis in spite of a tough matchup with the Jets’ D. Kicker Phil Dawson also provides an option.


New York Jets At Cleveland Browns: Friday Injury Report

Colt McCoy will definitely start at quarterback for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday against the New York Jets. The rookie will have to since both of Cleveland’s veteran quarterbacks, Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, have been ruled out with ankle injuries.

McCoy was drafted in the third round by the Browns. Forced into action by the injuries, he has been impressive, completing 46-of-68 passes (67.6%) with one touchdown and two interceptions.

The Browns are 3-5, but coming off back-to-back victories over New Orleans and New England with McCoy at the controls.

Jets coach Rex Ryan said the Jets will try to make McCoy uncomfortable.

“You try to mix it up on (him). You try to keep him guessing where he’s not comfortable with things. He (McCoy) does (run) a lot of times. He’ll look at one receiver and then run with it,” Ryan said. " That’s what you get from a lot of rookie quarterbacks. You see it with him and you see it with most rookies."

Defensive back Marquice Cole (hamstring) is the only Jet ruled out of Sunday’s game.


Pos. Player Injury
DB Cole, Marquice (DNP) Hamstring

Pos. Player Injury
LB Mauga, Josh (LP) Hamstring

Pos. Player Injury
RB Greene, Shonn (DNP) Personal
LB Pace, Calvin (FP) Foot
DB Revis, Darrelle (FP) Hamstring
OL Slauson, Matt (FP) Knee
OL Woody, Damien (FP) Knee


Pos. Player Injury
LB Bernard, Marcus (DNP) Illness
DL Coleman, Kenyon (LP) Knee
QB Delhomme, Jake (LP) Ankle
DL Rogers, Shaun (LP) Ankle
OL St. Clair, John (LP) Ankle
QB Wallace, Seneca (LP) Ankle

Pos. Player Injury
DB Adams, Mike (LP) Head
DL Schaefering, Brian (FP) Shoulder


New York Jets At Cleveland Browns: Game Breakdown

Offense: Cleveland has been pretty good against the run so far in 2010, while allowing some monster days to wide receivers including a 142-yard, three-touchdown performance by Anquan Boldin and a 222-yard, one-touchdown game by Terrell Owens. Rex Ryan has already hinted the Jets are going to be looking towards Braylon Edwards even more than usual, considering how amped up he is to against his former team. Hopefully, Edwards won't psyche himself up too much and rediscover his ability to drop the football. The Jets will have favorable match-ups on the outside but Mark Sanchez will be dealing with confusing looks from Eric Mangini and Rob Ryan, which means they don't want to get too pass happy. Cleveland is only ranked 15th in rushing yards allowed, which is no reason to shy away from the Ground and Pound.

I probably sound like a broken record but again, Shonn Greene needs more carries. This is the time of the year to get him building momentum heading into December. He has been outplaying LaDainian Tomlinson the previous few weeks, who should be having his carries limited anyway so he is fresh for the end of the year. Greene has only received 15 or more carries in two games this year, which is nowhere near enough. Let's see what he can do with17-20 carries this week, along with seeing if Tomlinson can be more effective with 10-12 carries and a few receptions.

The Tiger formation has gone a little stagnant the previous few games, which means it is time to either dump it for a few weeks or throw in some new wrinkles. There are other ways to get the ball in Brad Smith's hands besides him running a quarterback dive or sweep.

It would be nice to see Jerricho Cotchery get a strong game under his belt or at least make a few big catches. He needs to get back in rhythm ASAP, because the Jets will need him down the stretch as a third down weapon.

Defense: The Browns start and end with Peyton Hillis on offense, which means the Jets need to just keep doing what they have been doing against the run all year. If the game falls into Colt McCoy's hands, it will be a difficult task for Cleveland to pull out this game. Cleveland's top pass catcher has been tight end Benjamin Watson and the Jets have been awful at defending the tight end this year, so it will be interesting to see what kind of adjustments Rex Ryan makes to stop him, because Jim Leonhard hasn't been cutting it. The Browns don't have any elite receivers, although Mohamed Massaquoi has some big play capability and Chansi Stuckey is decent in the slot. I wonder if we will see some Darrelle Revis or Antonio Cromartie on Watson in obvious passing downs.

Josh Cribbs is a dangerous player who the Jets must always keep an eye on. He is basically like an enhanced version of Brad Smith in the Browns offense. So far in 2010 he has 198 yards receiving, along with 55 yards rushing and 2 completed passes. I am sure Eric Mangini won't hesitate to empty out the playbook this week against his former team, so the Jets must constantly be wary of their "Wildcat" look and all the trick plays that could be ran out of it.

It would be nice to see signs of life from the Jets pass rush this week. Calvin Pace, Jason Taylor, Bryan Thomas...I am looking at you guys. Rex Ryan, it might be time to mix in a few new blitz schemes because the Jets simply aren't getting to the quarterback enough in 2010.

Special Teams: Two very good units facing off this week. Cribbs is one of the most dangerous returners in the NFL so expect the Jets to kick away from him. I still get worried whenever I see Kyle Wilson deep on punt returns. Jim Leonhard is way more reliable and has actually been more explosive than Wilson back there.


Browns' Benard 'Stable And Alert'

SB Nation Cleveland is reporting that Cleveland linebacker Marcus Benard is “stable and alert” at a local hospital after collapsing in the locker room earlier today.

Benard was sitting in a chair when he suddenly collapsed to the floor. After initially believing Benard was kidding around, teammates, including fellow linerbacker Matt Roth called for team training staff.

Benard, 25, leads the Browns with 4.5 sacks this season. The 3-5 Browns host the 6-2 New York Jets this weekend.


New York Jets At Cleveland Browns: Key Story Lines

There is no shortage of storylines surrounding the Jets game in Cleveland this week, here is a roundup of them both on and off the field:

1) Sibling Rivarly - Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan (Cleveland's defensive coordinator) will be facing off with no shortage of smack talk flying between both of them. Rex has already talked about putting a bounty on Rob's head, and both have been filling up local headlines with stories of their childhood growing up together and fighting everybody in sight. In terms of the actual game this Sunday, both coaches are known for their exotic defensive game plans. Cleveland has had success with their "amoeba" look, which only shows a single down lineman and crowds everybody around the line of scrimmage, while the Jets blitz schemes have been somewhat ineffective this year. Regardless, you know both coaches will be emptying out their playbooks this week in attempt to out do each other.

2) Mangini's Back - The boy wonder who was declared the "Man-genius" back in 2006 as the Jets head coach before seeing himself fired only a few seasons later gets a shot against his former team. Mangini seems to have grown as both a coach and person in talking to the media this week and has his Cleveland team playing a tough, physical brand of football. He is familiar with a good amount of the Jets personnel, so it will be interesting to see what type of game plan he comes up with.

3) Braylon's Homecoming - Braylon Edwards hasn't been hesitant to discuss how anxious he is to play in front of his former home crowd, tweeting a few days ago "they better bring their damn popcorn." He is off to a strong start in 2010 for the Jets and would love to stick to the Cleveland faithful who grew sick of his dropped passes and off the field behavior before ultimately trading him away. The Browns have allowed four 100-yard receivers so far this year, including monster performances by Anquan Boldin and Terrell Owens. Keep an eye out for a big day from Edwards, who already has touchdown receptions of 74, 61, 41, and 32 yards this year.

4) Young Quarterbacks - Colt McCoy will be making only his fourth career NFL start this week, making Mark Sanchez look like a seasoned veteran with 23 NFL regular season starts under his belt. Both quarterbacks are likely to struggle against the myriad of looks that will be thrown at them and I expect both offenses to rely heavily on their ground attack.

5) Ground and Pound - This has the feel of a low-scoring, smash-mouth type game. There are too many Ryans involved for it not to be. It would be nice if Brian Schottenheimer finally gives Shonn Greene more of a chance this week, as it looks like LaDainian Tomlinson is beginning to slow down. Peyton Hillis has been a beast for Cleveland so far in 2010 but the Jets run defense has been rock solid...something has to give.


NFL Odds: Jets Are 1.5-Point Favorites Over Cleveland Browns

According to the folks at Odds Shark, who have partnered with SB Nation to bring you odds for all the major sports, the New York Jets are 1.5-point favorites over the Cleveland Browns this week.

That is an interesting line. Even though the Browns are 3-5, Eric Mangini’s team is coming off a 34-14 thrashing of the New England Patriots and a 30-17 victory over the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, in New Orleans.

The 6-2 Jets have struggled the past two weeks. They needed overtime to defeat the 2-6 Detroit Lions last week, and two weeks ago suffered a 9-0 defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers.

The folks in Cleveland are feeling good about the Browns these days, something they have not often been able to say in recent years.

Colt McCoy, Peyton Hillis and Co. have the city fired about the Browns moreso that at any time in recent memory and another win this week could put the Browns on the cusp of contention.

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