The Jets came to Cleveland with big plans: Chalk up their first road win to secure their first three-game winning streak and go over .500 for the first time since 2015.
It wasn't easy. Their weak rushing attacks — on both sides of the ball — returned from the first two games as the Browns broke on top 7-3 in the third quarter.
But the Green & White turned some huge red zone defense, which included two takeaways and a fourth-down stop inside the 5, plus Josh McCown touchdown passes to Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Jermaine Kearse, into the points they needed to survive the Dawg Pound for the 17-14 win and rise to 3-2 one week before they welcome the New England Patriots into MetLife Stadium.
Here are eight takeaways from the Jets' fifth straight win over the Browns and their third straight in "the 'Land," which remarkably lifted them to 3-2 and into a first-place tie with the Pats and Bills:
1. Quick Sacks
Dawg Pound fans got a taste of what they'd been waiting for when first pick of the draft Myles Garrett, on his first play of the season coming back from injury, stunted up the middle past G James Carpenter to sack McCown on third down. Three-and-out.
As if to answer, Demario Davis, who played MLB for the Browns last season, returned to FirstEnergy and got a third-down sack of his own, taking down rookie DeShone Kizer for the Jets' first 3-and-out.
2. Timely Takeaway
The Jets defense came into this game having allowed eight TDs in its last nine goal-to-go situations. That opponent streak ended when LB Freddie Bishop, just called up from the practice squad, pounced on an errant Browns pitch from the Jets 3 late in the first quarter. That was also the Jets' first fumble recovery of the season, after they had no opponent fumble recoveries through their first four games for the first time in franchise history.
3. Catching Breaks
The Jets' offense was very sluggish (67 yards) in the first half, the defense yielded some long drives. But rookie S Marcus Maye got his first pro pick on a great read near his goal line for the Jets' second red zone takeaway of the first half. And Browns rookie K Zane Gonzalez missed two field goal tries that faded left, from 52 and 39 yards. With 31 seconds left, we were looking at the first scoreless half in a Jets game since 2007 at Buffalo. Unless ...
4. Catman Do
McCown overcame an interception by Jason McCourty on an out-route to Robby Anderson by leading the visitors to some important yardage after the Maye pick.
And that set up Chandler Catanzaro for a historic Green & White kick. He drilled a 57-yard field goal try as time expired that went straight and true through the uprights. It was the longest FG in franchise history, topping Nick Folk's 56-yarder at Denver in 2010. (It wasn't Cat's longest, though; he hit a 60-yarder for Arizona last year.) And it gave the visitors a 3-0 lead at the half.
5. Browns Respond
Despite ending the half on a high, the Jets defense opened the third quarter still not clicking on all cylinders as Cleveland mounted its fourth drive of 45-plus yards toward the red zone. This time the hosts capitalized on a 21-yard missile from well-protected Kevin Hogan, who replaced Kizer to start the second half, to rookie TE David Njoku, who muscled past rookie S Jamal Adams for a one-handed diving touchdown grab and a 7-3 lead.
6. Picking Up the Ground Game
The Jets' ground game had been bottled up by the Browns' tough run defense all game, and when Bilal Powell came out late to start the second half with an injury, the rushing attack looked bleaker (9 carries, 9 yards at that point).
But the visitors rebounded smartly with their third takeaway of the game and Morris Claiborne's first pick as a Jet, on Hogan's deep middle overthrow induced by Demario Davis' heavy-duty pressure. From the Browns 13, the Jets needed two plays to retake the lead at 10-7 on McCown's 2-yard fade to Seferian-Jenkins, over CB Ibraheim Campbell, for his first TD in Green & White.
- Big Exchange**
Coach Hue Jackson obviously wanted a spark — and a win — so on the Brownies' next drive into the red zone, he opted to go for it on fourth-and-2 at the 4. The Jets run defense stopped Isaiah Crowell short, then who needs a run game? McCown from his 3 completed all six of his passes, including the pump-fake 24-yard strike to a wide-open Kearse for his third TD as a Jet and a 17-7 lead. It was the Jets' longest drive by yards in a road game since 1996 — and was just one yard shy of the 98 drive yards combined on their first eight drives today.
8. One Last Hurdle
The Jets defense dropped the ball again in allowing Duke Johnson to weave and break tackles for 41 yards to the TD that cut the Jets' lead to 17-14 with 1:49 to play. But even though the Jets were outgained by 419 yards to 212 on the day, they were in the driver's seat once Julian Stanford pounced on Gonzalez's onside kick with 1:49 to play. The McCown kneeldowns provided the Jets their fifth straight win over the Browns.
Top Photos from the Week 5 Matchup in Cleveland