Braden Mann, New York Jets
Braden Mann, New York Jets, Getty Images

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.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
10 days ago

And honorable mention to –

The Browns kicker, secondary, defensive coordinator, Brisset (for turning back into himself on their last 2 drives) and a big shout out to Nick Chubb (a tremendous player btw) for giving us that game.

Jets71
Jets71
11 days ago

Z kicked a 57 yard FG too, and how about some credit to Ashtyn Davis. Yes it was 1 play but that’s the point, he had 1 snap and made that play. That’s a very battered young man being ready when his number was called. This is why people don’t realize how important it is that Saleh changed the culture. Everybody is screaming, “that’s not enough” but that’s what makes these moments happen. It will happen more, if everyone would give it some time. It’s been just over 1 season.

This is what growing pains look like…some good…some bad. Garrett Wilson had a huge drop with some huge TD’s. We have to realize what has been going on the last few seasons are not “growing pain” it’s the sacrifice needed to get the young talent that allows you to have “growing pains.” There will be more games this season we fans want some flesh… patience. The diamonds are coming.

Quick ? for you Michael. I don’t know the offensive grouping breakdowns but is it possible this team is just flat out better in 11 than 12 personnel groups? LaFleur seems to be more comfortable calling plays for that group and the team seems more effective overall. Maybe they are trying to jam a square peg into a round hole pushing the 12 groups? Are you planning to do an offensive breakdown?

Jets71
Jets71
10 days ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

So, basically you’re saying you are seeing what I’m seeing? I don’t care about the signings and I think the 12 group will be important but Wilson’s talent is palpable. You can see it on the field, he needs to be out there. Davis and Moore are quality players and if we are being honest Berrios is a playmaker too. I just don’t see them living with the TE’s.

It’s like you pointed out last week, 13 personnel packages and Wilson is on the sideline so Cager can line up vs. a CB? They need to morph. I think the 12 groups will be great when they have leads etc. but they have playmakers now. They need to have those guys on the field and get them the ball. As of now, they are clearly better with the 11 personnel groups, in time probably some 10 too. It will be up to Zach really.

For now I see CJ out for several weeks so I think we’ll see more 11 packages anyway. BTW…having an explosive offense with weapons all over the field and the ability to put up 31 points is an identity.

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
10 days ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

I totally hear you Michael but this team is going to have to run the ball first no matter the personal. Salah and Laflaur got lucky yesterday, yes they took the gifts and made the plays but they didn’t have a great 58 first minutes, again. They have enough talent now to spread it around but they have to do two things. 1, play better defense and get the ball back to the offense faster and 2, flip the time of possession numbers by running it consistently. You saw it on display yesterday with Hunt and Chubb. Our guys aren’t as good as those two but if we can’t run our QBs are going to be exposed.

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
10 days ago
Reply to  Jets71

71, I agree with you about the growing pains but I’d like to see them worked out while winning 7 games this season.
Next year is the timeline I had for this team to become a playoff contender.
The team is very young but the guys from last year need to get the kinks out this year and the guys starting out this year look to be in a very sss ahead of where thier counterparts for the 2021 draft were last year.
Having so many high picks certainly helped and Wilson’s coming out party was fun to watch.
Finally I owe a small apology to Jose Flacco for tearing him apart last week.
I still beleive he is too slow both afoot and releasing the ball. His windup throws with pressure coming toward the pocket is a fumble opportunity everytime he dosent release in stride.
Can’t wait to see what we look like with Zack in week 4.
That’s where the true test will come and I hope he’s up for it.

Jets71
Jets71
10 days ago
Reply to  Peter Buell

I think they will get those 7 ish wins, but there will be some head shakers. You are a man of character for the Flacco apology haha. We will need to be patient with Zach but he has a chance to be good.

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
10 days ago
Reply to  Jets71

I agree. It looks like some of the younger guys from the past two drafts can be special but it’s never as exciting without the QB in there.
If Zack and these guys developed into who we think they will be, we might just be back to the Parcells and Rex era of football and that sounds like a blast.
I feel one more draft and this team will be able to compete with anyone.
. Thanks 71!

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
10 days ago
Reply to  Jets71

Say this for Davis. He made the right read, a nice catch and knew enough to take the knee knowing the game was over. It was just one play but it was perfect. I was happy for him too

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
10 days ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

Actually, taking the knee was a mistake, made worse by the fact that the officials stopped the clock like it was a college game. He could have run the clock out.

BigJetsFan1
BigJetsFan1
11 days ago

Great highlight on Max Mitchell on the GW TD. Its games like these you understand why you care about this team so much

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
10 days ago
Reply to  BigJetsFan1

BigJetsFan, .
How cool is it that 3 of the draft picks and Hall as well were prominent in yesterday’s game!
Really like to plus the D better.

BigJetsFan1
BigJetsFan1
10 days ago
Reply to  Peter Buell

Peter, I am in shock at how well we drafted! They are really talented and really nice people! You can totally get behind the draft picks as people. Especially, Ruckert and his wonderful dad. I would love to have a drink with Mr. Ruckert! I don’t even drink! I love this team!

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
10 days ago
Reply to  BigJetsFan1

Yes! Big Jets, I think Douglass and Co drafted with character as important as talent which usually works out well