The Jets somehow stole a game that only the Browns could lose
Sometimes, the only win probability that matters is the final score.
That was certainly the case Sunday in Cleveland, as the New York Jets pulled out a stunning win over the Browns.
Throughout the afternoon, it seemed like the home team was in control of the contest. When running back Nick Chubb scored on this touchdown run with under two minutes remaining, it seemed like the game might be over:
However, Chubb’s decision to score, and not simply stay go down in bounds and allow the Browns to start working the clock, set off a chain of events that have to be seen to be believed. After Cade York’s extra point attempt was pushed wide to the right, Joe Flacco and the Jets offense needed just two plays to reach the end zone:
The Browns lose track of wide receiver Corey Davis in coverage, and the receiver sneaks past the coverage deep downfield. Flacco connects with him on the deep shot play, and the Jets are into the end zone.
But with under two minutes remaining, the Jets would need to convert one of the toughest plays in football to have a chance.
An onside kick.
Enter Braden Mann:
Mann’s onside kick checks up perfectly, remaining in bounds long enough for defensive back Justin Hardee to recover the loose football, keeping the Jets’ hopes alive.
But they would need more points. New York would get them, courtesy of Flacco’s fourth touchdown pass of the day:
Facing a third down, Flacco finds rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson, splitting through the coverage and into the end zone to tie the game at 30. Greg Zuerlein’s extra point split the uprights, and the Jets had their first lead of the game.
It would hold, when Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett was intercepted on a late throw as Cleveland was trying to get into field goal range:
The stunning win touched off a big celebration on the Jets’ sideline, with even starting quarterback Zach Wilson making an appearance:
But perhaps the best way to summarize this win comes via the game’s win probability. As you can see, the odds of a Jets win swung wildly in the closing minutes:
Yes, perhaps only the Browns could lose a game like this.
The win might also remove a little heat under the seat of Jets head coach Robert Saleh. Earlier this week, Saleh fired back at some of the criticism facing his team, saying he was “taking receipts” for those critical of the Jets.
Will the coach lump in the win probability model in with those receipts?