Now a team losing its starting signal-caller, in the season opener no less, is generally a huge step backwards. But you have to play to get there.
Flawless until the end, of course. After initially finding open space, McCown was cut off by Jets S Calvin Pryor, whose lower body hit sent McCown helicoptering into the air, where he collided with Jets LB Demario Davis. Former Browns cornerback Buster Skrine delivered one to Manziel’s right shoulder early in the fourth quarter as he ran for a 20-yard gain that was negated by penalty. When the Jets decided to run rather than pass on a third-and-3 early in the second quarter and failed to get the first down, Jones stood up and yelled: “Are you kidding me?!?”
Josh McCown remained in the concussion protocol but attended meetings and watched film Monday, a day after suffering a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit in the first quarter. On third-and-goal from the 14, quarterback Josh McCown couldn’t find a receiver and scrambled. “At this point, he kind of is who he is”. But who knew he would come up with a takeaway? “If we get him some preparation, he’s going to do even better”. The Pro Bowl cornerback went down with a non-contact injury in the second quarter. In addition to McCown’s fumble and Manziel’s interception, Manziel also lost two fumbles.
“Just keeping my emotions under wraps, and understand it’s about the team, and go ahead and coach the game and not make it about me, ” he said. “It’s one game and the tendency is always to overreact after the first game no matter what happens win or lose”.
“He’s feeling a little better”, Bowles said.
If you look at the Jets scoring drives, it’s easy to see why we monopolized momentum and easily handled a trodden down Browns offense.
McCown completed 5-of-8 attempts or 49 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions for a 79.7 rating. Fitzpatrick was efficient in the red zone (3 of 4 for 33 yards and two touchdowns) and led the Jets to points on each of the first five times New York moved inside the Browns’ 20-yard line.
Cleveland converted its first four third downs on a game-opening series that drained almost 10 minutes off the clock. “It wasn’t flawless, by no means, but we did what we had to do to win”.
Ultimately, the Jets would still rather run the ball with running backs Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell behind a rugged offensive line.
Marshall, in his first game with the Jets after being acquired from the Bears in March, also had six catches for 62 yards and a touchdown.
What did McCown show him by absorbing at least five big blows? “No, he’s a competitive guy”. But he’s got to be more protective of the ball. “I think part of it is just conditioning”. I had heard Gailey did not feature tight ends too much in his offense, but this was remarkable. It’s just hard to say. So I try to play that way. “But at the same time I’m obviously trying to be smart with that so that we don’t risk injury”. Players said he was unconscious.
The optimistic view is that if the Browns can simply reduce the number of self-inflicted wounds, they would be a significantly more competitive team.