The New York Jets’ historic comeback win over the Cleveland Browns was a team effort
You know the story by now: Garrett Wilson was wheeling (8 catches, 102 yards, 2 TD) and Joe Flacco was dealing (307 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT) as the New York Jets erased a 13-point deficit in under two minutes to shock the Cleveland Browns.
Besides the headliners, there were so many other unsung heroes who played pivotal roles in engineering the Jets’ comeback. Here are a few that you shall not forget.
CB Brandin Echols
Early in the third quarter, starting cornerback Sauce Gardner left the game with an injury (he’d quickly return and finish out the game). The Browns were mounting a long drive to begin the second half. Brandin Echols would come in to replace Gardner while Cleveland was at New York’s 4-yard line.
Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett proceeded to target Echols on two consecutive plays in the end zone. Echols had tight coverage on both plays, forcing back-to-back incompletions to hold Cleveland to a field goal attempt.
It was an admirable relief performance by the second-year cornerback. Situations like these are where the Jets can be thankful that they gave their young players so much playing time in 2021. All of that experience pays off in high-pressure situations like this one.
The Jets likely would not have come back to win the game if Echols did not save 4 points with his stellar sequence.
P Braden Mann
Braden Mann had a woeful Week 1 that prompted the Jets to add competition in the form of Ty Long, who joined the practice squad.
You know what they say: Pressure makes diamonds. Mann was a diamond in this one.
This game was quickly getting away from the Jets in the first quarter. New York went three-and-out on its first drive before allowing a Browns touchdown drive. After that, the Jets were set to punt once again.
However, the Jets made the gutsy decision to have Mann attempt a fake punt on fourth-and-2. Mann delivered a dime to Jeff Smith for a 17-yard gain, keeping the drive alive. The Jets would go on to tie the game with a Garrett Wilson touchdown.
As a punter, Mann had a good day. He delivered four punts for a gross average of 47.3 yards and a net average of 44.0 yards.
The crown jewel of Mann’s performance was his beautiful onside kick that officially made the Jets’ comeback bid a realistic proposition. Mann split two Browns players and generated a dazzling bounce that allowed the Jets’ Will Parks to reach the ball before Cleveland’s Amari Cooper. It was as good of an onside kick as you’ll ever see.
OT Max Mitchell
Rookie offensive tackle Max Mitchell continues to surprise.
It was not a perfect day for Mitchell by any stretch. Most notably, he allowed a strip-sack to Jadeveon Clowney that stalled a Jets drive that was within field goal range.
With that being said, Mitchell was fairly consistent otherwise. In a game where he was overmatched against two elite edge rushers in Clowney and Myles Garrett, Mitchell held his own and did not allow the Jets’ passing game to be shut down.
Mitchell also came through with a big hustle play in the fourth quarter as he recovered a fumble by Jets tight end Tyler Conklin.
On the Jets’ final drive of the game, Mitchell consistently matched up with Garrett and held up on most plays. He had a good rep against Garrett on the Jets’ game-winning touchdown pass.
Max Mitchell vs. Myles Garrett on the game winning TD 👀 pic.twitter.com/JPNeYngLuu
— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) September 19, 2022