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I Can’t Believe The Browns Blew This One

Nathan Shepherd on the Jets celebrates after he leaves the field
Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns fans were pretty excited heading into today’s home opener. Some even lined up for miles the night before the game in order to get a good tailgating spot. All that stood between the Browns and their first 2-0 start since 1993 were the New York Jets, a team starting a 37-year-old South Jersey man at quarterback.

The Browns threw everything at the wall for the first home game of the year. The team painted its elf mascot, Brownie, at midfield (though that was not without critics, as reported: “TikTok personality Jordan Schultz described the move as ‘a massive L’”). The Browns also ran out of the tunnel today flanked by snarling dog statues with creepy light-up eyes.

Browns horrifying helldogs as players walk onto the field. Inset: Brownie the elf
Nick Cammett/Getty Images

The game against the Jets was closer than it should have been, but the Browns controlled it nearly the whole way. They had a first down deep in Jets territory, up a touchdown, with just over two minutes to play.

Well. On that first-down play, Nick Chubb broke free for a touchdown. Though the Browns could’ve run out the clock if he went down after getting a first, Chubb powered into the end zone. No matter. The Browns missed the extra point. Still, whatever. It wasn’t going to matter. There was only 1:55 to play.

You know what happened: Joe Flacco immediately threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis, the Jets recovered the onside kick, Flacco threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson, the extra point won it for New York. The Jets won, 31-30! It’s pandemonium in New Jersey! Fans are quoting Al Michaels!

The improbable comeback ruined the Browns’ day, one that would’ve ended so perfectly if Chubb had just taken a knee right here:

It’d be pretty hard to stop here I suppose. Look how tantalizing the end zone is!

It’s a miracle comeback for the Jets, but it was also rather fluky. How was Davis so open on his touchdown? How’d the Browns let the Jets get this onside kick? How do you let Flacco throw for 307 yards and four touchdowns? Yeah, this is a choke. The Jets still stink! And the Browns let them come back to beat them!

Cleveland players coped how they could.

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