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To quote fictitious Cleveland Indians manager Lou Brown in the movie Major League, “If we win today, it’s called ‘two in a row.'”
The Jets were able to make it two in a row with their upset win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Behind a dominant defense and an offense that played well enough to win, the Jets held on to a 23-16 victory.
New York was able to play spoiler to another potential playoff team, making the Browns road to playing into late January that much harder. With Adam Gase’s firing inevitable at this point, the Jets are still playing hard for their head coach. While the Jets are officially out of the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes, team morale is at an all-time this season following Sunday’s result.
Let’s take a look at some numbers that stood out in the team’s second win of the season.
Jamison Crowder threw his first career touchdown pass in Week 16. His 43-yard connection with Braxton Berrios is the Jets' longest touchdown pass by a non-quarterback since Brad Smith threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Dustin Keller in 2010, according to Randy Lange. Crowder became only the second player in the NFL this season and the third player in team history to register a passing touchdown and a receiving touchdown in a single game. https://twitter.com/NYJetsPR/status/1343284557563494400?s=20 Crowder finished Sunday's contest with an additional seven catces on nine targets for 92 yards and a score.
At one point, New York had taken a 17-point lead over the Browns. The Jets did the same thing to the Rams in Week 15. With that, the Jets became the first team to take at least a 17-point lead against two opponents who were five or more games above .500 since the 2017 49ers, according to ESPN's Stats & Info.
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Sam Darnold has gotten lucky on some errant passes, but he has now gone three consecutive games without a turnover. For a quarterback prone to turning the ball over, it's a welcomed change for Darnold, who's helped lead the Jets to consecutive victories. That said, the third-year quarterback isn't exactly lighting the world on fire. During Sunday's win, Darnold completed 16-31 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Over the past three games, Darnold has thrown for a combined 514 yards, going over 200 yards just once. He's added three touchdowns and has an average QBR of 85.1.
Flipping the Script
Since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule back in 1978, only three teams have won back-to-back games after starting 0-13, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. The 2020 Jets joined the 1986 and 2011 Colts as the only other teams to immediately string two wins together after dropping 13 straight.
Stopping the Run
(AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
Coming into Sunday's game, the Browns had the NFL's third-ranked rushing attack thanks to the dynamic duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Even without Quinnen Williams, the Jets were able to neutralize Cleveland on the ground, thanks in part to the return of Foley Fatukasi. New York's rushing defense stepped up again, holding the Browns to a season-low 45 rushing yards on 18 carries, averaging a measly 2.5 yards per carry. Chubb had just 28 yards on 11 carries, while Hunt had 11 yards on four carries. Both found the end zone, however.