Before we get into some of the technical aspects of the New York Jets’ overtime win over the Cleveland Browns, let me just say this:
That was an entertaining game, one that included a little something for every fan — tremendous individual performances, hard-hitting football, heroes, goats and an Xs-and-Os chess match between two coaching staffs that know each other very well.
OK, enough rhapsodizing, let’s break it down, courtesy of ESPN Stats and Information:
â€¢ The Jets devoted a lot of prep time to the Browns’ “Amoeba” defense (at least five defenders in the box, with one of fewer defensive linemen), but they saw it only four times — a nine-yard rush, two completions (including a TD) and a sack. A week ago, the Browns used the Amoeba to befuddle the New England Patriots. Tom Brady was 3-for-13 against that particular scheme.
â€¢ Rex Ryan’s twin brother, Rob, the Browns’ defensive coordinator, is a lot like his ‘bro — aggressive and creative as a play caller. But in overtime, Rob got conservative in terms of his use of pressure packages.
The Browns had more success against Mark Sanchez and the Jets’ passing attack when they brought at least five pass rushers. However, Cleveland rushed more than four on just one of Sanchez’s 13 pass attempts in overtime.
What would their dad, Buddy, have to say about that?
â€¢ Sanchez isn’t exactly Michael Vick in the pocket, but he made several plays on the move, many of them after he injured his right calf. When passing from outside the pocket, he completed five of eight for 72 yards, including a TD pass to Jerricho Cotchery. That computes to a passer rating of 131.3.
In the first eight games, he was 17-for-34 outside the pocket, with a rating of 68.0.
â€¢ The Jets were able to slow down the Browns rushing attack by limiting Peyton Hillis’ effectiveness up the middle. He rushed for 133 yards on 21 carries between the tackles last week against New England (6.3 yds/att), but managed only 36 yards on 12 carries up the middle on Sunday (3.0 yds/att).