New York Jets produce stunning comeback to defeat Cleveland Browns
Photo: Nick Cannett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The New York Jets have had one of their most memorable comebacks in team history, overcoming a 13-point deficit in the final 1:22 to shock the Cleveland Browns 31-30 at FirstEnergy Field.

Trailing 30-17, quarterback Joe Flacco found wide receiver Corey Davis for a 66-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 30-24 following the extra point by Greg Zuerlein.

After Justin Hardee recovered punter Brayden Mann's onside kick, Flacco led New York down the field, hitting rookie wideout Garrett Wilson for a 15-yard strike, Zuerlein's extra point proving to be the winning margin as both teams stand at 1-1 on the season.

Coach Robert Saleh commented on his veteran signal-caller, saying "Just a calming force. He has been in a lot of these situations leading a bunch of young men. 

"I thought he was cool, calm, got the ball where it needed to go, and they left the door open a crack. Just a crack for our guys to break through was awesome."

"You look at the score and we're down with 1:30 left, you know your chances aren't too hot", Wilson said after the Jets became the first team in 21 yards to erase a 13-point deficit in the final two minutes. "But they made some miscues. That's basically what happened."

Back and forth first half sees the game tied at halftime

Cleveland scored the only points of the first quarter, taking their opening drive of the game 90 yards in 14 plays, Nick Chubb scoring the first of his three rushing touchdowns from four yards out.

Less than two minutes into the second quarter, Flacco, who was 26 of 44 for 307 yards and four touchdowns, hooked up with Wilson from two yards out to make it 7-7.

The Browns responded, Jacoby Brissett, starting in place of the suspended DeShaun Watson, found Amari Cooper with a two-yard score one play after having a TD pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones reversed.

New York tied the game a second time as Flacco engineered a touchdown drive with 65 seconds remaining, dumped the ball off to rookie running back Breece Hall, who did the rest from 10 yards as it was a 14-14 game at halftime.

Jets nab incredible victory in memorable comeback

The only points of the third quarter came from the leg of Browns rookie kicker Cade York, who hit a 22-yard field goal as Cleveland took the lead for a third time in the game at 17-14.

Zuerlein tied the Jets franchise record with a 57-yard field goal to tie the game, but Chubb found the end zone again, this time from seven yards away as the Browns went in front 24-17.

It seemed that might be enough as Wilson dropped a key third-down pass that short-circuited a Jets drive and after Marcell Harris committed a dead-ball unnecessary roughness penalty, Cleveland started their drive in New York territory.

Forcing the Jets to call all three of their timeouts with 2:09 left, Chubb scored his third touchdown of the game with 1:55 to go, but as the Browns would admit later, he would have been better off staying in bounds to run the clock.

"That's a scenario where that is on me to communicate that to the huddle", said Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski. "We have done that before. Having said that, we need to close that game out."

York, who hit the game-winning 58-yard field goal to beat Carolina in Week 1, missed the extra point, which would prove to be crucial.

"I thought I hit it well off the foot", he said. "I really don't know why it took off right on me."

New York would then begin their miraculous comeback, Flacco finding a wide-open Davis, who got behind the Cleveland defense and streaked into the end zone.

"When I threw the ball, I looked and saw nobody is anywhere near him", Flacco said. "It was really weird because of how quiet it got here. That's something i've never heard before. It was so loud, and all of a sudden, there was silence."

After Mann successfully executed the onside kick to the left when the Browns were expecting him to kick it to the right, Flacco drove New York down to the 15 before finding Wilson, who had eight catches for 102 yards to go with his two touchdowns.

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"When (offensive coordinator) Mike (LaFleur) called the play, I kind of had a smile inside", Flacco, who improved to 18-3 in his career against the Browns, said. "Their safeties were playing pretty soft, so I was going to find a window to get it to him."

Brissett, who injured his ankle in the final period, tried to drive Cleveland down the field for a final winning drive, was intercepted by Ashtyn Davis with six seconds to play.

"This league is funny", he said. "This one was tough. It just shows you can't take anything in this league for granted. Not even talking about the end of the game, a bunch of plays early on, miscues and things of that nature."

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