JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines five key plays in the Jaguars' 27-25 loss to the Cleveland Browns at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday
1.Landry gets hot early. One play after kicker Aldrick Rosas' 54-yard field goal gave the Jaguars a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter, Browns running back D'Ernest Johnson returned a low kickoff by punter Logan Cooke 43 yards to the Browns 45. That shifted momentum to Cleveland, which followed with a 21-yard pass from quarterback Baker Mayfield to wide receiver Jarvis Landry. The Browns took their first lead of the game four plays later when Mayfield passed five yards to Landry for the wide receiver's first touchdown reception of the season. Mayfield passed four times for 51 yards on the series. The drive also set the tone for a huge day for Landry, who caught eight passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. "I thought Jarvis Landry had a hell of a game, but at the same time I thought that there were two or three balls we were close on that could've easily gone the other way," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said. "He's a good player and he made those plays on it.
2.Johnson second-quarter touchdown. The Browns missed a chance to take control of the game when Mayfield missed wide receiver Rashard Higgins wide open in the end zone in the second quarter; they settled for a field goal and a 10-6 lead rather than eight points. The Jaguars on the ensuing series hit their biggest play of the first half to retake the lead, with quarterback Mike Glennon finding rookie wide receiver Collin Johnson wide open 20 yards downfield. Johnson turned up-field after the reception and turned the play into a 46-yard catch-and-run touchdown and a 14-10 lead. "I knew I could make it," Johnson said. "I saw the coverage was zone coverage and Cover Three so when I was making my way across, I knew there would be an opening in the zone and Mike threw a perfect ball. I just kept running and did the rest to help my team out."
3.Schobert forced fumble. This play changed momentum after halftime. Browns tight end Harrison Bryant caught a pass from Mayfield for 13 yards to the Browns 48, but Jaguars middle linebacker Joe Schobert – who signed as an unrestricted free agent from Cleveland this past offseason – poked the ball away. Safety Andrew Wingard recovered and returned it to the Browns 30. That takeaway set up a two-yard touchdown pass from Glennon to tight end Tyler Eifert. That gave the Jaguars a 19-17 lead after Glennon's two-point pass to wide receiver Keelan Cole fell incomplete with 11:41 remaining in the third quarter, but the turnover/touchdown helped keep the underdog Jaguars close until game's end.
4.Hunt, Chubb big late third-quarter runs. The Browns are in the AFC wild-card chase largely because Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb form perhaps the league's best running-back combination. On Sunday, that combination keyed perhaps the game's key drive – one that started on the Browns' 10 with 3:10 remaining in the third quarter. First, Chubb ran through a huge hole for a 29-yard gain to the Jaguars 48. Three plays later, a 27-yard run by Hunt gave the Browns a first down at the Jaguars seven. Chubb's one-yard run to the right pushed Cleveland's lead to 27-19 with 14:13 remaining. "The emphasis, really, was to stop the run, first and foremost," Jaguars safety Jarrod Wilson said. "Two-seven (Hunt) and two-four (Chubb) are really good backs, power backs. Cleveland's been doing an amazing job running the football all year so that was just the mentality all week. We definitely had to bring our big boy pads and make some tackles. I think we did a pretty good job of that today, but definitely got an L, so we've got to improve."
5.Glennon's final pass. This came on a two-point conversion attempt following the Jaguars' final touchdown – a four-yard run by James Robinson with 2:11 remaining on which much of the offensive line helped him into the end zone with massive pushes. On the two-point attempt, Glennon escaped pressure and ran to his left. He threw high to the back of the end zone for Johnson. "When I saw him scrambling, everything is up for grabs and you just try to get open," Johnson said. "That's what I tried to do. Mike gave me a chance, but I didn't come down with it. Just live and learn and continue to work and practice and next time I will get it." The pass was defended out of bounds, and the Browns ran out the clock on the ensuing drive – clinching the victory on a 13-yard catch-and-run reception by Chubb on 3rd-and-12 from the Browns 35.