Thunderstorms and lightning strikes delayed the contest between the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns for a little over an hour. But as the rain settled, the Jets poured it on!
The Browns offense seemed to be moving the chains at will, putting the ball in the air early in the game. A beautiful touchdown catch by Braylon Edwards was set up by a bad pass interference call on Justin Miller worth 25 yards.
Eventually, Brady Quinn stepped in and made some very nice throws to his receivers. Unfortunately for Cleveland, his contributions weren’t enough to secure a preseason victory.
Kellen Clemens started for the Jets, seeing limited action. He completed four passes for 31 yards and led a fairly impressive drive. Unfortunately, it stalled on a fourth down conversion attempt.
But it was Brett Ratliff and David Clowney that provided the real sparks on the field. The gap was closed when Ratliff hit Clowney with a 71-yard touchdown strike on their first play from scrimmage.
Ratliff and Clowney would continue to connect, with Clowney making some stellar receptions, including another 70-yard touchdown catch that would ultimately give the Jets’ the lead for the remainder of the game.
The Jets special teams contributed to the point total as well, with a field goal from Mike Nugent, and a swift punt return from rookie Dwight Lowery.
Defensively, the Jets’ first team appeared slow off the snap. Kris Jenkins clogged up the middle to stop a few runs early in the game. But Cleveland managed to exploit some weaknesses in the Jets’ defense. The absence of David Harris is worth noting, as his presence typically alters the dynamics of the defense.
The young guys and veterans looking to be noticed contributed beautifully in the fourth quarter.
San Jose State product, Dwight Lowery, showed up on defense, nabbing a heads-up interception in the end zone during the final minutes of the game. He was also around to defend a few crucial passes as the game clock expired.
Lowery’s impressive evening was nearly tarnished by a pass interference call in the final seconds, but the Jets’ defense controlled the red zone and delivered a victory in their first preseason outing.
The Jets win, 24 to 20.
Overall, it may have only been a preseason game, but these men are competitors and you know they want to win. This is especially true for the young talent fighting for roster spots.
It is a cause for concern when it appears as if the defense was trying to hand the game over to the Browns during the final seconds. Mental errors, like the aforementioned Lowery penalty, and a roughing the passer call on Thomas Johnson, placed the Browns in prime position to take back the lead in the final seconds.
Bumps & Bruises:
Brad Kassell limped off the field early in the game. The injury doesn’t appear significant, but it is worth noting.
A.J. Schable, a second-year tight end, was carried off the field on a stretcher after taking a hard hit while covering a kickoff.