CLEVELAND (AP) — Everything was stacked against the New York Jets. The clock wasn’t in their favor, and Cleveland’s frothing home crowd was making things harder.
The Jets had Joe Flacco. And that was enough.
Flacco fired a 15-yard touchdown pass to rookie Garrett Wilson with 22 seconds left as the Jets rallied for an improbable 31-30 win over the stunned 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. Earlier, the 10th overall pick had dropped a crucial pass, allowing the Browns (1-1) to open their two-score lead.
“Just a calming force,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said of the 37-year-old Flacco. “He has been in a lot of these situations leading a bunch of young men. I thought he was cool, calm, got the ball where it needed to go, and they left the door open just a crack.
“Just a crack for our guys to break through was awesome.”
The Jets (1-1) scored two TDs in a span of 60 seconds — a New York minute — to wreck Cleveland’s home opener. According to ESPN Stats, teams had won 2,229 consecutive games when leading by at least 13 points in the final two minutes.
New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco passes against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)