'We can't let that happen' – Browns head coach Stefanski fumes after Jets' historic rallying win
The New York Jets achieved something that had not been managed in 21 years or 2,229 consecutive games with Sunday's come-from-behind 31-30 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh labelled it "something crazy", while quarterback Joe Flacco called it a "wild one".
While a lot went right for the Jets, a lot went wrong for the Browns, with Nick Chubb running in a touchdown to make it 30-17 with 1:55 left, instead of stopping short and retaining possession.
Given the Jets had no timeouts left, the Browns could have kept the ball and run out the clock. Instead, they handed possession over, offering the Jets a chance, which head coach Kevin Stefanski took the blame for.
"That is a scenario where that is on me to communicate that to the huddle," Stefanski said.
"We've done that before. Having said that, we need to close that game out."
The Browns also left wide receiver Corey Davis wide open for Flacco's 66-yard touchdown pass that gave the Jets an avenue back into the game, before the Jets' QB found rookie Garrett Wilson for the winner with 22 seconds left.
"Obviously, guys not on the same page," Stefanski said about the Davis touchdown.
"It was very, very clear what we were doing. We talked about it on the sideline before everybody went out and talked to the entire defense about what they were about to do, which was try and throw it over our head. We can't let that happen.
"We have a young football team, and unfortunately, that youth at times has shown up here, and we have to grow up real fast. I am not going to get into the specifics. When we do not do our job as one person, it is a reflection of the entire defense."
It was a major triumph for the Jets, who shrugged off the disappointment of their opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens despite the absence of starting QB Zach Wilson, with 15-year veteran Flacco flourishing in his stead.
"I don't know where it ranks, but it's up there," Flacco said. "And there were 22 seconds left so as much as you want to freak out and assume you have victory at that point, that's a lot of time. They had a timeout.
"You become a fan at that point, you become very nervous. When you come out on top, it adds to the excitement. It was a wild one, for sure."
The Jets had rookies Wilson and Breece Hall contribute three of their four touchdowns, offering belief for a side that finished the 2021 season with a 4-13 record.
"Those guys don’t blink anyway," Flacco said. "I think a lot of the time you're looking for the outcome to be in our favour before you can say those kinds of things.
"You're obviously not going to say those kinds of things about young guys when we're not winning games. That's why winning is so big, it allows those things to be so big."