Jets edge Browns in OT
CLEVELAND(AP)–The Jets are racking up the overtime wins.
Santonio Holmes scored on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez with 16 seconds left, giving New York its second straight overtime win, 26-20 over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday that was also the Jets’eighth straight regular-season road win.
The Jets(7-2), who won 23-20 in Detroit a week ago, overcame three missed field goals by Nick Folk, including a 47-yarder in OT.
On first down, Sanchez whipped a quick pass to the lightning-quick Holmes, who after catching it, stepped inside of rookie safety T.J. Ward and sprinted into the end zone.
The Browns(3-6)had rallied to force OT on rookie quarterback Colt McCoy’s 3-yard TD pass to Mohamed Massaquoi with 44 seconds left in regulation.
Before Holmes’heroics, the teams appeared headed for the NFL’s first tie since 2008, when Philadelphia and Cincinnati played to a 13-13 draw.
In a game loaded with big plays, key injuries and drama, Jets coach Rex Ryan was just a little bit better than his twin brother, Rob, the Browns’defensive coordinator. After Holmes scored, the Ryan brothers found each other at midfield and shared a hug.
The Browns couldn’t quite pull off their third shocking upset. They had beaten New Orleans and New England in consecutive weeks, but were unable to give second-year coach Eric Mangini a win over the team that fired him after the 2008 season.
Sanchez threw two TD passes and ran for another. He also shook off what initially looked to be a serious injury to his right knee and finished 27 of 44 for 299 yards. Sanchez threw one interception, but it helped set up New York’s game-winning score.
Sanchez forced a long pass to wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who was booed and taunted throughout his return to Cleveland, that was picked off by Cleveland’s Joe Haden with 1:35 left in OT. The interception was as good as a punt since it backed the Browns up to their goal line.
Cleveland couldn’t get anything going and had to punt from its end zone with 35 seconds to go. Reggie Hodges got off a 53-yard kick that New York’s Jim Leonhard returned 18 yards to Cleveland’s 37.
On the next play, Sanchez took a three-step drop and fired a dart to Holmes, who for the second straight week came through in overtime. Last week, Holmes, who was suspended from New York’s first four games, had a 52-yard reception to set up Folk’s 30-yard kick that downed the Lions.
Folk had a rough day. He missed right from 48 and 47 yards and had a 24-yard bounce off the right post.
The Jets dominated most of the second half, but couldn’t stop McCoy in the final minutes.
Cleveland’s poised rookie drove the Browns down field before threading his TD pass to Massaquoi, who was shut down most of the day by cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. McCoy’s TD pass capped a 59-yard drive for the Browns, who were held to just 14 total yards in the second half before their last possession.
McCoy went 18 of 31 for 205 yards.
Edwards, traded last year by Mangini, had four catches for 59 yards. He spent the past two weeks bad-mouthing Cleveland and its fans.
Peyton Hillis rushed for 82 yards and had a 12-yard TD run for the Browns.
Sanchez’s 2-yard TD run with 23 seconds left gave the Jets a 17-13 lead and capped an entertaining first half that included chippiness and three costly injuries for the Browns.
Joshua Cribbs, Cleveland’s Mr. Everything, hurt his right foot on a 37-yard reception in the second quarter. After taking a short pass, Cribbs bolted down the right side but appeared to get hurt while being tackled. He returned to the sideline in the second half but didn’t play.
On New York’s next possession, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, arguably the team’s defensive MVP so far this season, injured his left knee and limped to the locker room. In the first quarter, Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown hurt his left shoulder while tackling Edwards and did not return.