The Jets fought hard to even several scores at Cleveland on Sunday afternoon. With their late-game determination, and the Browns' cooperation, they avenged those scores — in miraculous fashion — with their 31-30 win to defeat the Browns in their home opener.
The Green & White, trailing 30-17 with 1:55 to play after Browns RB Nick Chubb's third rushing touchdown of the game, scored on a 66-yard pass from Joe Flacco to uncovered Corey Davis down the right sideline with 1:22 to play. Then Justin Hardee recovered Braden Mann's mystifying onside kick at the Jets 47, leading to a drive to Flacco's 15-yard slant pass to rookie WR Garrett Wilson to tie the score at 30-all. Greg Zuerlein came on for the extra point and the 31-30 lead with 22 seconds to play.
All that remained was to keep Cleveland from moving into the field goal range of strong-legged rookie Cade York. They did that when QB Jacoby Brissett dropped back from his 46 and threw a pass that S Ashtyn Davis snapped up for the Jets' only interception and only takeaway of the game.
One Flacco kneeldown secured one of the most rapid comebacks in NFL history, not to mention tying for the fourth-greatest fourth-quarter comeback in franchise history. The Jets overcame a 23-point deficit to beat Miami in the Monday Night Miracle in 2000 by 40-37 in overtime, and also overcame two 14-point fourth-quarter deficits — over Dallas on opening night in 2011 for a 27-24 win and in New Orleans in 1983. The then-Titans also won at Denver 46-45 after trailing by 13 in the final frame at Denver.
The scores the Jets evened were of the team record variety. They squared their all-time record against the Browns at 14-14 and at Cleveland at 9-9. They improved to 1-1 — their first .500 record since going 3-3 in 2018. And Flacco got his first win as a Jets starter after six losses and also improved his all-time starting record over the Browns to 10-1.
The Brownies mounted four relentless drives of 60-plus yards to all 24 of their points, the final score coming on Chubb's second of three rushing touchdowns in the game, a change-of-direction-and-speed 7-yard run with 9:21 to play for a 24-17 lead with 9:21 to play.
The Jets had no offensive response at the time with a pair of three-and-out punts. And the Browns got 15 yards on an unsportsmanlike-penalty shove by Jets ST Marcell Harris and an 11-yard gain on a screen pass from Jacoby Brissett to Kareem Hunt on third-and-7, leading to Chubb's third TD run, a 12-yarder with 1:55 to play as the Browns opened their 30-17 lead.
The Jets made it closer with a huge breakdown in Cleveland's prevent defense as Flacco found Davis all alone down the right sideline for the 66-yard score to cut it to 30-24. Then Mann executed the Jets' first successful onside kick since 2017, squibbing the ball left when it appeared he was kicking right, with Hardee recovering at the Jets 47. With 1:20 left, the Jets had a chance for a miracle comeback victory, which they capitalized on.
Flacco finished 26-of-44 passing for 307 yards — after throwing for 309 yards in last week's season-opening loss to the Ravens — for four touchdowns, no INTs and a 110.7 passer rating.
Wilson, the Ohio State first-round pick who returned to his college state for this big game, starred with a number of pro firsts in his second Jets game, catching eight passes for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was aided and abetted by fellow rookie Breece Hall, the RB from Iowa State who had 50 yards on seven carries and a 10-yard TD reception in the second quarter.
On the game, the Jets and Browns played an incredibly even game. The Browns held edges in first downs (29-20) and yards (405-402), but the teams were even in takeaways (1-1) and third-down conversions (8-8). Brissett completed 22 of 27 for 229 yards and a touchdown to WR Amani Cooper, who finished with nine catches for 101 yards.
The Jets lost all three of their first-round rookies due to injuries for short periods in the second half. CB Sauce Gardner injured himself on a tackle on Cleveland's first drive of the half to their field goal. And WR Garrett Wilson landed hard out of bounds trying to make a leaping catch on the Jets' ensuing drive. Gardner returned to action late in the third quarter, as did Wilson, who turned in the game's longest catch to that point, a 31-yarder from Flacco. As the fourth quarter wound down, edge Jermaine Johnson went down with a lower-body injury and limped off the field.
See the best images from the come-from-behind 31-30 victory over the Browns in Cleveland.