Avery Williamson impressed for the Jets
A fifth year linebacker out of Kentuky, Williamson flew around the ball and finished the day with 7 tackles, 1 assist and 1.5 sacks. Especially in the first half the Jets controlled the game. Their pressure was relentless, and they finished the game with 4 sacks. The combination of intense pass rush and good coverage meant the Jets allowed Tyrod Taylor to complete just 4 of 14 passes. It’s no wonder that the team struggled to convert on third down during Tyrod’s time under centre as he was repeatedly placed in third and long.
With 1:42 left in the second quarter Cleveland put the first overall pick in the game due to an injury to Tyrod Taylor. Mayfield has a quicker release and gets more velocity on the ball and this was shown as he completed his first 2 NFL passes. What’s more impressive is his ball placement and the speed he goes through his progressions. Also, he shows a willingness to release the ball quickly, trusting his assessment and accuracy. This was in evidence in college and, against the Jets, it was in evidence again as he completed 17 of 23 passes (with an additional 3 passes dropped by receivers).
Not content with providing the spark for others to score, Mayfield got in on the action himself when he added a reception to convert the Browns two point attempt and tie the game 14-14. Whilst he passed for 201 yards in a little over 2 quarters Mayfield has yet to throw his first touchdown. There’s no doubt that Baker should start in Week 4 and for the rest of the season.
The Jets running back tandem continues to roll
Against a stout Browns defence the Jets running backs continued to be used in equal measure. This week it was the turn of Bilal Powell to break the longer runs. He finished the game with 73 yards rushing. However, it was Isaiah Crowell who delighted fantasy owners and Jets fans early, scoring both Jets touchdowns, although he finished with just 34 yards. The game continued the Jets trend of getting decent production from both backs. Crowell has 171 yards on the year. Powell has 139. However Powell seems the more gifted as a receiver with balance shifted in his favour 79-21.
Turnovers once again hurt the Jets
There’s no doubt that the play of rookie quarterback Sam Darnold has been encouraging. He already has 701 yards this season and has avoided pass rush to create some memorable plays. However, his positives have been overshadowed to some degree by interceptions. The 21-year-old quarterback threw 2 against the Browns at key points in the game which killed off drives. He’s now thrown more interception (5) than touchdowns (3). He also completed just 15 of 31 passes. He wasn’t alone in giving the ball away . Robby Anderson, who was an impressive target for the Jets in 2017, has struggled with his ball retention in 2018. For the second week in a row he fumbled the ball and did not recover. After making a reception Anderson was stripped of possession by emerging star Denzel Ward who also recovered. The Browns, by comparison, did not turn the ball over.
Redemption for Schubert
Last year, one of the few Cleveland success stories was the play of Joe Schubert. Coaches have been effusive about the third year player and his athleticism. The Wisconsin alum dropped an errant Sam Darnold pass early on, as the ball went straight through his hands. However, redemption came in the fourth quarter when Schubert added an interception to seal the win.
Cleveland Snap winless streak
The Browns have found some outrageous ways to lose games over the years. It should come as no surprise then that their 21-17 win over the Jets was their first in twenty games. “Dilly Dilly! to the Cleveland fans,” Mayfield said while smiling. But Cleveland and Mayfield aren’t content to have the club’s best record in three year. “It is not the only win that we are going to celebrate. It is a building block for us. We did some good things, but there is still a lot that we can work on. That is the great part about it. We are nowhere near where we want to be, but we are in a good spot to build a foundation and keep going.”
Perhaps all Cleveland needed to be winners was Mayfield and new kicker Greg Joseph (who kicked with 100% accuracy). When asked who the starter next week was, head coach Hue Jackson said that he would need to watch the tape!
Photo from SBNation