Jets rally past still win­less Browns

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Will Graves The As­so­ci­ated Press

CLEVE­LAND >> Down a cou­ple of scores and 30 min­utes away from a loss to that would have turned a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son into some­thing far more dire, New York Jets cor­ner­back Dar­relle Re­vis de­cided it was time for a wakeup call.

The fact one was re­quired against the win­less and luck­less Cleve­land Browns is telling of just how things have been go­ing in New York.

Re­gard­less, what­ever Re­vis said worked. Ryan Fitz­patrick led three long touch­down drives as the Jets — who trailed 20-7 at half­time — put to­gether the big­gest sec­ond-half road come­back in team his­tory, ral­ly­ing for a 3128 vic­tory on Sun­day.

“It was ba­si­cally, ‘Just fight. We are not leav­ing this sta­dium not win­ning the game,”’ Re­vis said of his half­time mes­sage. “This game is very im­por­tant to us. When ad­ver­sity strikes, we have to re­spond.”

For once, the Jets did. Em­phat­i­cally.

A week af­ter openly crit­i­ciz­ing team man­age­ment for los­ing faith in him when it benched him in fa­vor of Geno Smith, Fitz­patrick over­came a night­mar­ish first half to throw for 222 yards and a score.

“I’m here to try to win foot­ball games for these guys,” Fitz­patrick said. “The first half was bad. We played poorly. I played poorly. It was nice to see the way we re­bounded to­gether.”

New York (3-5) out­gained the Browns 287-133 in the sec­ond half, and most of Cleve­land’s yards came on a garbage-time drive that didn’t ex­actly smack of ur­gency. Matt Forte ran for 82 yards and a pair of sec­ond-half touch­downs and Bi­lal Pow­ell added 76 yards rush­ing and a 35-yard dart to the

end zone of his own.

Jets coach Todd Bowles in­sisted he didn’t con­sider go­ing to backup quar­ter­back Bryce Petty, even as Fitz­patrick went 3 for 14 over the first 30 min­utes.

“It wasn’t Ryan,” Bowles said. “We had 22 guys who didn’t play well in the first half. We didn’t play well as a team. It had noth­ing to do with Ryan. Ryan doesn’t play de­fense, he doesn’t block, catch or run. We had to play bet­ter as a team.”

Some­thing the Jets man­aged to do when with more than a lit­tle help from the Browns (0-8).

Josh McCown passed for 341 yards with two touch­downs to An­drew Hawkins in his re­turn from a frac­tured col­lar­bone, but also threw in­ter­cep­tions on con­sec­u­tive pos­ses­sions in the sec­ond half that doomed any real shot of Cleve­land pick­ing up its first vic­tory

in 322 days.

Ter­relle Pryor caught six passes for 101 yards, but couldn’t keep Cleve­land from its worst start since the 1975 team dropped its first nine games. The Browns have lost 11 straight over­all dat­ing to Week 14 of last sea­son and are 3-26 over their last 29. Three of the losses this sea­son have come with the Browns ahead at the break.

“Los­ing is old, we’re 0-8,” Browns cor­ner­back Joe Haden said. “Ev­ery­thing’s old. We have to win. We have to start win­ning. When we do re­ally good in the first half, we’ve got to fig­ure out how to kick­start that thing in the sec­ond half.”

LOS­ING BROAD­WAY JOE

Fitz­patrick chan­neled a lit­tle bit of his old “FitzMagic” put to­gether con­sec­u­tive touch­down drives of 78, 84 and 81 yards af­ter half­time. His 24-yard hookup with Quincy Enunwa brought

the Jets within 20-14. Fitz­patrick hit Enunwa again for a 57-yard gain on New York’s next pos­ses­sion, one that ended with Forte bulling over from 4 yards out on fourth-and-goal.

The surge came af­ter Jets Hall of Fame quar­ter­back Joe Na­math took to Twit­ter , sug­gest­ing it was time for the Jets to turn to Petty af­ter Fitz­patrick man­aged just 30 yards pass­ing and was sacked twice dur­ing a sloppy first half.

“It hurts to say this, but we’re not goin (sic) with Fitz­patrick,” Na­math posted.

The only quar­ter­back to lead the Jets to a Su­per Bowl later back­tracked, prais­ing Fitz­patrick for his de­liv­ery on the long strike to Enunwa that helped put the Jets in front. New York wide re­ceiver Bran­don Mar­shall chided Na­math af­ter­ward, say­ing “Come on, Joe. You can’t say that.”

SAME OLD, SAME OLD

Cleve­land hon­ored the

1986 team that reached the AFC cham­pi­onship game at half­time. For­mer coach Marty Schot­ten­heimer, who is bat­tling Alzheimer’s dis­ease, said “there’s noth­ing like the Browns.”

Maybe, but on the same day the In­di­ans have a chance to win the World Se­ries and four months af­ter the NBA’s Cleve­land Cava­liers won a ti­tle, the glory days for Cleve­land’s foot­ball team seem far­ther away than ever.

“Had our chances, did not fin­ish it,” cur­rent Cleve­land coach Hue Jack­son said. “Did not fin­ish it, and that has kind of been the story of our sea­son.” UP NEXT

Jets: face AFC East ri­val Mi­ami for the first time this sea­son when they hit the road to face the Dol­phins. New York has won four of the last five meet­ings.

Browns: host the Dal­las Cow­boys. Cleve­land hasn’t beaten the Cow­boys at home since 1988.

DAVID RICHARD — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Jets run­ning back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball past Cleve­land Browns strong safety Ibra­heim Camp­bell (24) in the first half of an NFL foot­ball game, Sun­day in Cleve­land.

DAVID RICHARD — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Jets run­ning back Bi­lal Pow­ell (29) runs in a touch­down against Cleve­land Browns cor­ner­back Tracy Howard (41) and strong safety Der­rick Kin­dred (30) in the first half of an NFL foot­ball game, Sun­day in Cleve­land.

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