The Browns Lost To The Jets On A Baker Mayfield QB Sneak Fumble

The Cleveland Browns entered Sunday at 10-4 on the season and controlled their own destiny in the AFC playoff race. Wins in their last two games of the season against the Jets and the Steelers would lock them into a playoff spot, and, at the least, they needed one win in the last two to feel solid about their chances in tiebreaker situations.

Naturally, this meant disaster was destined to strike in Cleveland because, well, that’s just how things work with the Browns. Cleveland entered Sunday’s tilt with the lowly Jets as 6.5-point favorites, with the number that small in large part due to the team being without pretty much their entire wide receiver room due to COVID-19 protocols. The passing game was expected to struggle, but it was the woeful effort of the running game and the defense that doomed the Browns in New Jersey on Sunday.

The Browns rushed for just 45 yards against the Jets in a game that they desperately needed to be able to control that portion of the game. The defense didn’t help a lot either, as they allowed 23 points to the Jets, including giving up a trick play TD in the first quarter.

However, the real disaster was the end of game execution from Baker Mayfield and the Browns offense, as Cleveland’s QB fumbled twice on the final two drives of the game when the Browns needed a TD to either take the lead or tie the game. The first was simply Mayfield holding it a touch too long and not feeling the backside pressure that got home and set New York up in field goal range while up 20-16.

The second was even worse, as the Browns had marched deep in Jets territory and faced a 4th and inches, calling a quarterback sneak that, somehow, Mayfield fumbled as he got hit trying to push forward.

Being inside the last two minutes of the game, the fumble could not be advanced by Kareem Hunt — only Mayfield could’ve scooped it and moved it forward — and the ball was moved back to the spot of the fumble which turned it over on downs and handed the Jets an unbelievable and improbable win.

It was really a disastrous result for both teams, as it locks the Jaguars into the No. 1 overall pick in the Draft (and gives them Trevor Lawrence) while the Jets fall to No. 2 with the win. For the Browns, it backs them up to 10-5 and likely needing a win over the rival Steelers next week to avoid what would be the abject disaster of starting a season 9-3 and still missing the playoffs in a year where there’s even an extra playoff spot.