CLEVELAND— Maybe they should've just taken the tie.
A questionable call late in overtime gave the Jets the ball back with 24 seconds to play and the Jets scored with 16 seconds to play and defeated the Browns, 26-20 in overtime in front of 67,449 fans at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Browns fall to 3-6 on the season and the Jets improved to 7-2.
Joe Haden intercepted a deep pass by Mark Sanchez at the three-yard line on third-and-4 from the Jets' 46. If he were to have batted it down, the Browns might've had better field position, but starting at their own three with just 1:35 to play, they could've run out the clock since the Jets had just one time out left.
"I really liked the shot on first down," Eric Mangini said. "You have to decide if you're going to play for the tie at that time."
However, the Browns threw an incomplete pass on first down and the Jets were able to force the Browns to punt with 35 seconds left from their own end zone. Reggie Hodges' punt was fielded by Jim Leonhard in his own territory, but he returned it 18 yards to the Browns' 37. On first down, Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes on a quick out and Eric Wright missed the tackle and he went the distance to give the Jets the win.
The Browns tied the game in regulation with a dramatic drive to send the game into overtime as Colt McCoy hit Mohamed Massaquoi for the touchdown with 44 seconds to play as McCoy led the Browns on a 59-yard drive for the score.
In overtime, Chansi Stuckey went from hero to goat in a matter of a few seconds as picked up a big first down on third-and-four near field goal range, but he was stripped by Antonio Cromartie and Drew Coleman recovered for the Jets at the Jets' 36.
"A fumble is a fumble," Stuckey said. "It just happened at a really crucial time. I was trying to make a play to help the team win. You have to take the good with the bad. I was trying to get some extra yards to get us in field goal range. They made a good play."
From there, the Jets were able to get in position to win the game and Nick Folk was wide right from 47 yards out.
After the missed field goal, the Browns were faced with third-and-3 from their 44 and rather than convert the first down, they tried to go deep and McCoy overthrew a wide open Massaquoi and were forced to punt
In a game that has had little defense in the first half, the opposite was true in the second half.
Neither team punted in the first half, and the Jets used a two-yard run by Sanchez with 23 seconds to play in the half to take their first lead of the game at 17-13.
The only non-score in the first half was a Peyton Hillis fumble. Meanwhile, the Jets scored on three of their four opportunities with the only non score being a missed 48-yard field goal by Folk.
The Browns took a 3-0 lead on a 34-yard field goal by Phil Dawson with 9:52 to play in the first quarter on the opening drive of the game. After the kickoff, the Browns started at their 14 and marched 69 yards on 11 plays for the score. They took 5:08 off the clock. McCoy threw to Ben Watson for 19 yards to the Jets' 47 after Peyton Hilllis picked up a first down on a six-yard reception on third down. Hillis followed with a 14-yard run to the 33 and then a 14-yard pass to Robert Royal gave the Browns a first down. On third-and-8 from the 17, McCoy barely overthrew an open Watson in the end zone to force the field goal.
Working with a short field, the Jets tied the score at 3-3 with a 27-yard field goal by Folk with 5:52 to play in the first quarter. The Browns tried an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff that looked like it would've worked, but Dawson's kick scooted out of bounds to give the Jets great field position at the Browns' 42.
The Jets moved to the Browns' nine before stalling and settling for the field goal. The Jets' longest plays on the drive were a 9-yard run by LaDainian Tomlinson and a 9-yard pass from Sanchez to Dustin Keller.
After the kickoff following the Jets' field goal, Hillis fumbled on the second carry after being hit by Jim Leonhard and recovered by David Harris at the Browns' 31. The Browns defense stiffened and Folk missed a 48-yard field goal as he was wide left.
After the field goal miss, Hillis put the Browns up 10-3 with 16 seconds left in the first quarter on a 12-yard run around left end. Lawrence Vickers sealed the edge with a big block on Bart Scott. The Browns started with a 14-yard end around by Josh Cribbs. Two plays later, McCoy hit Chansi Stuckey for eight yards, but Scott was called for a personal foul on McCoy to move the ball to the Jets' 20.
On first down, Hillis was called for holding, but an 18-yard pass to Watson moved the ball to the 12. Hillis scored his eighth rushing touchdown of the season on the next play.
The Jets came back and tied the game at 10-10 with 11:09 to play as Sanchez hit Jerricho Cotchery for a 25-yard score on third-and-8. Sanchez started the drive with a 16-yard pass to Santonio Holmes to the 40. He then hit Braylon Edwards for 21 yards on third-and-8 to the Browns' 37. After a nine-yard run by Brad Smith, Sanchez found Cotchery wide open in the end zone.
The Browns took the lead as Dawson kicked his second field goal from 23 yards with 5:13 to play in the second quarter. McCoy hit Hillis for 12 yards to the Jets' 42 and then hit Cribbs on a swing pass for 37 yards to the five. However, the Browns couldn't get closer than the three before settling for the field goal. They moved 66 yards in 10 plays and took 5:56 off the clock.
The Jets came right back and took a 17-13 lead with 23 seconds to play in the first half as Sanchez went in from two yards out. The Jets went 80 yards in 11 plays to take the lead. The Jets were aided by two penalties on the drive. An illegal contact penalty on Scott Fujita gave the Jets a first down and then a pass interference on Eric Wright covering Holmes added 27 yards to the Jets to the Browns' 34.
A nine-yard run by Shonn Greene and a 12-yard pass to Greene from Sanchez gave the Jets the ball on the six. On third-and-two, Sanchez went up the middle for the score.
The Jets took the second half kickoff and marched to the Browns' six before Folk missed the 24-yard field goal as he hit the right upright. The Jets had the ball for 10:04 and didn't score.
The Jets increased their lead to 20-13 with 2:42 to play as Folk converted a 25-yard field goal after a drive that took 7:45 off the clock. The Jets went 56 yards to the Browns' seven before Sanchez threw the ball right to Abe Elam, who dropped it to force the field goal. The Jets had two 14-yard plays on the drive, a pass to Tony Richardson and one to Tomlinson.
The Browns tied the game 20-20 with just 44 seconds to play as McCoy hit Mohamed Massaquoi from three yards outs in front of Antonio Cromartie."When it comes to crunch time, everybody just pulls togehter," Massaquoi said. "There is not a lot of bickering. There is not a lot of arguing. Whenever things get rough, everybody is pulling together and just wants to make a play for each other."
After the Jets' field goal, the Browns had a 32-yard return by Joe Haden to the 41. The Browns picked up first downs on a sneak by McCoy on third-and-one and then an 11-yard pass to Ben Watson to the Jets' 39.
On third-and-10, McCoy hit a leaping Watson for 17 yards to the 21. On the next play, McCoy hit Evan Moore on a slant for 18 yards to the three. Moore took the ball from all-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis. On the next play McCoy hit Massaquoi for the score.
In overtime, the Jets had the ball four times and the Browns three.
"I don't know who else (the Browns) have to beat to show they're legitimate," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "That team right there is a tough team and they're awfully good."
Colt No. 4: QB Colt McCoy made his fourth consecutive start for the Browns. He was 8-of-12 for 112 yards in the first half and finished 18-of-31 for 205 yards with one touchdown. His long of 37 yards to WR Josh Cribbs.
Peyton's Day: RB Peyton Hillis rushed 19 times for 82 yards and a touchdown in the first half. It was Hillis' seventh rushing touchdown of the season. He fumbled for the fourth time this season in the first quarter on a six-yard run, but the Jets were unable to score as K Nick Folk missed a 48-yard field goal. Hillis also caught four passes for 27 yards.
Slow Day: The first punt of the game came with 3:59 to play in the third quarter as Browns' P Reggie Hodges kicked a 39-yard punt after a three-and-out for the Browns. The Jets punted on the next possession for the first time, as well. Both teams traded punts again for five straight punts on possessions.
Sack Attack: The first sack of the game was by S Mike Adams on third-and-8 on a blitz. DL Shaun Rogers helped with the sack. LB Marcus Benard had the other sack after missing practice on Thursday and Friday.
Almost Worked: The Browns continued their trick plays with an onside kick attempt after their first score. It looked as though it would work, but K Phil Dawson's kick went out of bounds to give the Jets a first down on the Browns' 42. The Jets kicked a field goal.
Top Receiver: TE Ben Watson had five receptions for 74 yards.
Brown Down: CB Sheldon Brown left the field and went to the locker room after a helmet-to-helmet hit with WR Braylon Edwards. He injured his right shoulder and did not return was. WR Josh Cribbs injured his foot and did not return. LB Scott Fujita also went to the locker room with a knee injury and did not return.
Former Browns: Besides the obvious, WR Braylon Edwards returning to play the Browns, Brodney Pool starts at safety for the Jets. Fans in the Dawg Pound had a #17 Browns jersey with the name ‘Stonehands' on the back. At the other end of the stadium there was a sign ‘Butterfingers' in green and white in a professionally looking sign that looked similar to a candy bar. Another sign said ‘The Drop Zone.' Edwards caught two passes for 27 yards in the first half and finished with four receptions for 59 yards.
Inactives: For the Browns: QB Jake Delhomme, WR Carlton Mitchell, OL Steve Vallos, DL Brian Sanford, TE Alex Smith, WR Demetrius Williams and DL Jayme Mitchell. Brett Ratliff is the third quarterback, while Seneca Wallace is the backup. Billy Yates started at right guard for Floyd Womack, who started at right tackle for John St. Clair. For the Jets: DB Marquice Cole, LB Josh Mauga, OL Vladimir Ducasse, DT Jarron Gilbert, TE Matthew Mulligan, TE Jeff Cumberland and DT Marcus Dixon. Kellen Clemens is the third quarterback.
Moves: The Browns signed DL Brian Sanford to the active roster from the practice squad and released OL Paul McQuistan.