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Flacco rallies Jets to stunning 31-30 comeback over Browns

Jets Browns Football
Posted at 5:49 PM, Sep 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-18 17:49:44-04

CLEVELAND (AP) — The New York Jets were less than two minutes away from another loss.

Joe Flacco wouldn't let it happen.

Flacco's 15-yard touchdown pass to rookie Garrett Wilson with 22 seconds left rallied New York to a 31-30 win over the Cleveland Browns, who blew a two-touchdown lead in the final two minutes Sunday.

On third-and-10, Flacco — who had four TD passes one week after a rough opener — found a streaking Wilson over the middle for the winner. Earlier, the 10th overall pick had dropped a crucial pass, allowing the Browns (1-1) to open their lead.

"Joe is 37 years old and he's been in the league a long time," Jets coach Robert Saleh said. "He's seen the best of it and he's seen the worst of it, so you knew he was going to rebound."

Nick Chubb's third rushing TD put Cleveland up by 13 with 1:55 left. However, rookie kicker Cade York, who made a 58-yard field goal in the final seconds to beat Carolina last week, pushed his extra point to the right.

The miss would come back to haunt the Browns.

Flacco hit Corey Davis for a 66-yard TD with 1:22 left to pull the Jets (1-1) within six at 30-24. New York recovered the onside kick and Flacco, who's filling in while starter Zach Wilson recovers from a knee injury, drove to the 15 without any timeouts before hooking up with Wilson.

Greg Zuerlein made the deciding extra point to make it 31-30.

Cleveland had one last chance, but Jacoby Brissett, who had injured his left knee in the fourth, was intercepted by safety Ashtyn Davis with 6 seconds left.

Flacco improved to 18-3 in his career against the Browns, the most wins for the 37-year-old QB against any team. Flacco went 26 of 44 for 307 yards.

It was a demoralizing loss for the Browns, who were on the cusp of going 2-0 for the first time since 1993, when Bill Belichick was their coach.

Chubb scored on runs of 4, 7 and 12 yards.

Brissett, starting while Deshaun Watson serves his 11-game NFL suspension for alleged sexual misconduct, threw a TD pass to Amari Cooper and finished 22 of 27 for 229 yards.

Wilson had eight catches for 102 yards.

Zuerlein's 57-yard field goal with 14:19 left tied it at 17 for the Jets. The kick matched the longest in franchise history by Chandler Catanzaro against the Browns in 2017.

NO AVERAGE JOE

Joe Thomas reached elite status by playing 10,363 consecutive snaps and making 10 Pro Bowls in 10 seasons for the Browns. He's now officially a "legend."

Thomas was inducted into the team's Legends Club during halftime ceremonies. He was honored along with the late Darrel "Pete" Brewster, who played both tight end and defensive end for Cleveland from 1952-58.

Thomas, who retired after the 2017 season, is eligible for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame's next class.

INJURIES

Jets: Rookie CB Sauce Gardner left briefly in the third quarter with an apparent head injury. He was checked in the sideline medical tent and cleared to return. ... DL Quinnen Williams suffered a foot injury but came back.

Browns: Clowney went out with an injured right ankle in the third quarter and didn't return. He appeared to roll his ankle while chasing Flacco. ... TE Harrison Bryant left after a scary collision with LB Kwon Alexander in the fourth but returned. ... RT Jack Conklin was inactive for the second straight week. The former All-Pro underwent knee surgery in December.

UP NEXT

Jets: Continue their trip through the AFC North by hosting the Bengals on Sunday. New York is opening its season against Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

Browns: A short turnaround with a Thursday night home game against the Steelers.