Gee, you're saying to yourself, I wish there was more pointless blathering about today's game, because there's just not enough. Don't worry... I'm here. Here's today's Dorkbook filled with whatever pops into my head while watching the game. Because, you know, this all has to be documented.
- Well, Bill Cowher picked the Browns in the pre-game, but sort of dismissed the Browns wins over the Patriots and Saints as being due to "gimmick plays". Peyton Hillis didn't gimmick his way to 184 yards last week, Chin-man. .
- The game starts off in a worrying way, with Cribbs muffing the kickoff and Colt McCoy missing his first pass, but then McCoy starts finding his tight ends downfield and Peyton Hillis makes early liars out of pundits who felt that the Jets could shut the Albino Rhino down.
- Even as the first drive comes up just short of a touchdown, we see on that final play why McCoy has established himself so quickly as the Browns quarterback. Buying time with his feet, McCoy's abilities on top of solid pass protection by the Browns line makes this a tough team to defend. McCoy's pass was catchable by no one other than Watson and came close to a TD. BROWNS 3, JETS 0.
- The Browns onside kick doesn't work, but no one who has enjoyed the benefits of gimmick plays that have succeeded over the last several weeks should complain. The Jets get a short field.
- The Browns stifle the Jets thanks to contributions from some relatively unheralded players: Kenyon Coleman, who stones Tomlinson inside the red zone, and safeties T.J. Ward and Abe Elam who make life miserable for Braylon Edwards inside the ten. The Jets come away with a field goal, however. JETS 3, BROWNS 3.
- No doubt about the emotion in this one, as Blake Costanzo joins other Browns defenders in mixing it up against the Jets after the ensuing kickoff. Some of the very early miscues may have had a component of nervousness and anticipation to them as well, as many in this roster of Browns have never been involved in a game this big.
- The Jets have a short field again as Peyton Hillis fumbles the ball. A Jets defender put a helmet on the ball, which didn't knock it out, but it dislodged it a bit, and Hillis lost the handle as he went down.
- Peyton Hillis:Fumbles::Superman:Kryptonite.
- Again, it's an unheralded member of the defense playing a key role as Ray Ventrone shuts down Keller immediately after catching a pass on third down. Browns hold and the Jets field goal fails. Momentum change? BROWNS 3, JETS 3.
- The Jets rough the passer, McCoy finds Watson again, two Wildcat calls, and a 12-yard run by Peyton Hillis. Dominant offense, that could even overcome a dubious holding call against Peyton Hillis. BROWNS 10, JETS 3. Unbelievable.
- The quarter ends on a nice pass from Sanchez to Holmes for 16yards. Holmes mouths something to the Stadium crowd, pointing to the name on the back of his jersey. The message seems to be "I'm not Braylon Edward. Don't hurt me."
- The biggest advantage for the Jets is revealed as completions to Edwards and Holmes start the second quarter. In the first quarter, the Browns only completion to a wide receiver was an eight-yard pass to Chansi Stuckey. Everything else was to running backs and tight ends.
- Something happened at 11:09, as Jerrico Cotchery is wide open for a touchdown. Completely blown coverage. JETS 10, BROWNS 10.
- Peyton Hillis just singlehandedly runs over multiple defenders to get a first down and 12 yards to the Jets 42. The next play, Thomas Clayton comes in and gets nothing. This season depends on Peyton Hillis staying healthy.
- The Jets defense looks confused as Josh Cribbs is uncovered and takes a short pass 37 yards to the Jets five. It's scary what this team could do with some WR help.
- The Jets hold inside the ten and the Browns nail a 23-yard field goal. BROWNS 13, JETS 10.
- First the Browns lost Sheldon Brown, now Josh Cribbs walks to the locker room, limping a bit. Two key losses, with Sheldon Brown "questionable" to return with a shoulder injury.
- Hippie philosophy flashback of the day: What if two defensive-minded coaches had a war, but no one showed up?
- Eric Wright gets called for pass interference with 2:31 left in the second quarter, and that's going to get Eric Wright into the top five of the post-game Goathorns. The Jets have terrific weapons at WR, but I'm glad they're not in the Browns locker room anymore.
- Jets driving towards the Browns end zone with a little over a minute left. The mind flashes back to Abe Elam's huge play last week against the Patriots, and how that solidified the Browns momentum going into halftime.
- Jets score a TD or something. I'm trying to forget it. JETS 17, BROWNS 13.
- Joe Haden shows some potential as a kick returner once again, busting a 37 yard return that's unfortunately pulled back because of a penalty on Jason Trusnik. That call turns a last-second attempt at a field goal into take-a-knee time. We go to halftime, and the Browns are now missing Cribbs, Brown, and Fujita. The Jets get the ball back to start the second half. In other words, a challenge awaits. If the Browns are going to go the playoffs, they have to answer. More football drama than we've seen in three years here, maybe longer.
- The over/under on Jets total yards was 345, I believe. They have 163 in the first half. This is why I don't gamble.
- Another revealing stat: two catches by Browns wide receivers in the first half, and none by the top two. The Jets have made MoMass and Robiskie completely invisible. If the Browns aren't able to mount a drive to the playoffs, look hard at that stat.
- As Don noted on our Twitter feed, Peyton Hillis is averaging six yards a carry. That'll work. More of that.
- This defensive battle featured zero first half punts.
- The Browns defense is on their heels during the Jets first drive, as Marty's kid mixes up the run and pass effectively. The team is clearly missing the veteran leadership of Fujuta and Brown on defense. The Jets make three straight third-down conversion and are moving the ball effectively.
- This year's first pick, Joe Haden, is a blanket on the 2005's first pick, Braylon Edwards, on two straight plays. Very good to see. Despite, um, Haden's slow 40 time and stuff.
- The time of possession battle is clearly now in the Jets favor. As the clock ticks down to the 7:30 mark on the Jets first drive, New York is sitting with an 8-minute time of possession advantage, 22:37 to 14:56.
- The Browns defense stiffens inside the ten and thwarts the ten-minute-long Jets drive. They come away with nothing, other than a tired Browns defense. Could this be a momentum-changer? Only if the Browns offense can keep the defense off the field for a while.
- The Browns go three-and-out, which really puts the pressure on the Browns defense now. That was the last thing we wanted to do.
- Again, it's unheralded members of the Browns defense who stop up to get the offense another shot at the Jets. First, David Bowens pressures Mark Sanchez, and then Mike Adams sacks Sanchez to make the Jets go three -and-out. The Jets game out trying to take advantage of the tired Browns defense, but Rob Ryan's group sucked it up and made the plays when they had to. I'm impressed, and a little proud.
- A glimpse of Colt McCoy in a "must-pass" situation against the Jets tough defense isn't heartwarming, as he's swarmed under within seconds. Even the cool McCoy didn't have time to limit the damage. Jets get the ball back. The Browns firce a punt.
- I have to point out once more how impressed I am with the resilience of the Browns defense, which has every excuse to lay down after the Jets have had the ball for a half-hour so far in this game. Possibly because of the way that the defensive coaching staff rotates players, and possibly because of internal resolve, the Browns defense is hanging in there in a very tough situation.
- Despite the Jets dominance in the second half, the Browns are still only down by four. They're hanging around, thanks to the resilient defense.
- A reflection of their head coach, the Jets easily lead the league in post-play defensive fist pumping. Hopefully Football Outsiders have something about that in their stat database.
- With about nine minutes left, Mark Sanchez sits back and spends about 20 seconds before throwing a short pass to Tomlinson. I didn't like him pulling out his cell phone and making a call while waiting, frankly. Don't show up the defense. The massive time of possession difference appears to have finally taken its toll, but pass coverage by the Browns is pretty impressive.
- Braylon Edwards gets called for a key holding penalty with 7:38 left. Blatant penalty. It would be wonderful for that to be a game-changer, but a subsequent screen to Tomlinson gets most of it back. And Edwards gets a first down for Edwards at the Browns 14. It turns into a field goal several plays later, the first score of the second half. JETS 20, BROWNS 13.
- Joe Haden again impressive as a kick return, blasting upfield to the 41 on the kick return. McCoy is given a shorter field and targets MoMass after having a lot of time, but the wide receiver can't pull it in. The top two Browns WRs remain shut out. Learning quickly, McCoy goes back to Ben Watson on the next play.
- Colt McCoy. Legend in the making? After doing nothing the entire second half, three straight beautiful passes result in a touchdown for the Browns. For those of you wondering how Colt would react to a "has to pass" situation, you have your answer. BROWNS 20, JETS 20.
- For all the chatter about Braylon Edwards return, a bunch of ex-Jets are stepping up. Eric Barton makes a key play on defense to help force a three and out, and then WR Chansi Stuckey makes not only a nice little punt return, but a key five yard catch to enable a Browns first down at the 45.
- Following the fumble, Channel 19 Death Action Sports runs a crawl for their post-game program, apparently featuring Handford Dixon. OK, then.
- After a lifetime of watching the Browns suffer against Terry Bradshaw, John Elway, and their ilk, there is nothing more frustrating for me as a Browns fan than to watch an opposing quarterback scramble and keep a drive alive. Argh. Sanchez dances away from two tacklers and gets a first down at their 47 after a throw to Cotchery.
- When Nick Folk becomes unemployed after this game, I think we all owe him fruit baskets or something. My new favorite kicker.
- The Browns have come so close in this one, with game changing plays just not happening. Mark Sanchez eludes what appeared to be a certain sack by Shaun Rogers and managed to throw for 21 to Tomlinson. Sanchez may not be a world-beater, but he's looked very good today, and is making life tough for the Browns defense with his elusiveness.
- The Jets are at mid-field with two minutes left. No matter what happens, I'm very happy with the way this Browns team has played. The defense has been resilient in the face of difficulties, and Colt McCoy has shown himself to be able to deal with high-pressure situations. The team lost key players to injury and didn't fold.
- Joe Haden picks off the pass intended for Braylon Edwards, basically eliminating the self-adoring receiver's possibility of getting revenge on his old team. Browns are in a tough situation, backed up against the goal line with little time left.
- Santonio Holmes catches a game-winning pass. It's easier to compete sometimes if you don't worry about character, as the Jets wide receivers evidence. Either way, it was a heck of a game, and we have a lot to be proud of after the Browns took another Super Bowl contender to the final seconds and gave them a scare. This team is for real.