CLEVELAND – The green-and-white spin cycle was dizzying.
Lost in all the tales of inspiring halftime locker room speeches and imaginary momentum was this simple fact: We witnessed two bad football teams trading turns being bad in front a sparse crowd counting down the hours to first pitch.
Sure, the Jets technically have a two-game winning “streak” – hooray! – after edging the NFL’s only winless team on Sunday, but the same lethargy and breakdowns that put them in this unenviable position in the first place cropped up again.
Todd Bowles will surely take the 31-28 win over the Browns, but he must know in his heart of hearts that they’re all doomed this season.
The Jets awoke from a first-half slumber to edge the worst team in the sport. Congratulations, fellas. Don’t sprain your elbows patting yourselves on the back.
“You don’t barely squeak by a winless team,” Bowles said. “When you win, you win. When you lose, you lose. We don’t complain when we lose, and we ain’t gonna b—h about it when we win.”
Fair point. No sane football coach would ever trade a win for the alternative, but let’s not kid ourselves. There’s still something wrong with this team.
Todd Bowles wanted his team to ‘have a f—ing attitude’ while they trailed the Browns by 13 points.
How many more pointed halftime speeches does Bowles need to make before this veteran-laden team gets it? How many times must he give them a verbal kick in the posterior before we see a crisp first half of football? It’s inexcusable and confounding for a roster filled with experienced players.
“You’ve got to have a f—ing attitude when you’re getting your ass kicked,” Bowles said about his team’s about-face after intermission.
Bowles’ message to his team that trailed 20-7 at halftime was cut and dried: Play with passion, energy and for God’s sakes, get in someone’s face. There were plenty of culprits that helped them dig an embarrassing hole to the league’s bottom feeder.
The Jets managed just 106 total yards in the first half to a team that gave up a cartoonish 559 total yards seven days earlier. Chan Gailey’s offense went three-and-out on four of their six first-half drives. Ryan Fitzpatrick completed a grand total of four passes for 30 yards in the first half.
Darrelle Revis played his now customary soft coverage — somewhere near Akron this time — en route to yielding six receptions for 101 yards to Terrelle Pryor in the first half. The damage would have been worse if Pryor hadn’t dropped a couple passes.
“I knew they were going to attack me,” said Revis. “I didn’t expect them to attack me as much. But I had to make an adjustment too.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick completes just four passes in the first half of Sunday’s win.
(Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports)
David Harris said that Bowles was “angry,” which sort of makes sense given the slop that he had watched for 30 minutes. The awful first half prompted Bowles, Revis, wide receivers coach Karl Dorrell, reserve safety Rontez Miles among others to speak up at halftime. The theme? “Fight,” Revis said. “We’re not leaving this stadium without winning the game.”
It all sounded so wonderful and motivating until you noticed that Revis put the “F” in “effort” on a late 16-yard catch and run by Duke Johnson that set up a Browns touchdown. The Elvis Statue in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame was more mobile than the Jets $17 Million Man on that play.
“It looked like we were sleepwalking,” Bowles said of the first half before his defense “just started getting in people’s faces and playing.”
The Jets scored touchdowns on the first three drives of the second half to take the lead for good. Quincy Enunwa came alive, breaking up a near interception, catching a 24-yard touchdown pass and hauling in a nifty 57-yarder to set up another touchdown. Fitzpatrick & Co. racked up 24 points on 187 total yards after intermission.
“It was a business-like approach in the second half,” said Fitzpatrick, who went 16-for-34 for 228 yards and a touchdown. “It wasn’t all fueled by emotion.”
Matt Forte and Bilal Powell combined 158 rushing yards on 31 carries (5.1 ypc) to help Bowles’ team dominate the time of possession. The Jets held a 2-to-1 time of possession advantage in the second half to avoid the indignity of losing to a winless team.
Darrelle Revis continues to look far from the Revis they once knew.
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Bowles’ defense forced a pair of second-half turnovers after giving up 224 yards in the first half. Pryor was held without a catch on three targets after the break, but few noticed. Folks were halfway home in anticipation of Game 5 of the World Series before this game was over.
“Every game ain’t pretty,” Sheldon Richardson said.
What did this win really mean? Are the Jets going anywhere now that they have conquered the Ravens and Browns?
“Winning cures all,” Brandon Marshall said. “Winning creates momentum. Finishing strong creates momentum. You build something in your locker room when you hit adversity.”
Adversity seems to hit this team over and over. There might be a reason for that.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News