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Grading The Positions From The Jets Vs. Browns Game

How did the Cleveland Browns do in their 26-20 loss to the New York Jets?

After big wins over the Saints and the Patriots, the Cleveland Browns fell victim to the New York Jets 26-20 in the final seconds of overtime. How did each positional unit perform during the game? It's time to grade the positions once again with a "Pass" or "Fail." The grades focus on the unit's performance for that particular week.

OFFENSE

  • QB (PASS):When was the last time a Browns quarterback led a touchdown-scoring drive with under two minutes to play? Colt McCoy had another solid game and wasn't fazed by the Jets' defense. He made the decisions necessary to move to 3-1 at quarterback, but now he's back to .500.
     
  • RB (PASS):While he didn't get as many carries as he did against New England thanks to the Jets controlling the clock in the second half, Peyton Hillis continued running hard en route to a stellar day. It doesn't matter what defense he faces -- he'll make his presence felt.
     
  • WR (FAIL):You have to feel bad for Chansi Stuckey, but his fumble in overtime stands out as a moment that really hurts. It seemed like the gameplan involved McCoy not even bothering to mess with the Jet corners, so that means the other wide receivers were mostly invisible.
     
  • TE (PASS):The tight ends were McCoy's go-to-guys. Ben Watson led the team in receptions and had plenty of yards after the catch. Evan Moore had a late catch while covered by Revis. Even Robert Royal caught a pass early on in the game.
     
  • OL (PASS):The pocket caved on McCoy a couple of times, but overall the protection was there and the run blocking was there for Hillis. The Jets seemed to blitz a little less once they saw they couldn't get past Cleveland's line.

DEFENSE

  • DL (FAIL):Shaun Rogers had a chance to bring Mark Sanchez down in overtime, but he didn't. There were other opportunities as well to bring Sanchez down, but the defensive line made him seem like Ben Roethlisberger out there.
     
  • LB (FAIL):Losing Scott Fujita in the second quarter hurt. The Browns had trouble covering the running backs out of the backfield, and when it came to stopping the run on third down, the Browns didn't have the "big play stop" they've been accustomed to from the linebacker position.
     
  • DB (FAIL):While they didn't play terrible, the lack of plays stands out -- T.J. Ward and Abram Elam both dropped interceptions that led to field goals. On Santonio Holmes' game-winning touchdown catch-and-run, Eric Wright and Ward both had cracks at making the tackle but didn't. The unit also lost Sheldon Brown early on.

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • ST (PASS): Phil Dawson and Reggie Hodges did their jobs, and Joe Haden filled in nicely on kickoff returns. Special teams didn't stand out, but they did have a negative play in a failed surprise onside kick. At least they didn't miss three field goals like Nick Folk did.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.