In Week Eight of the 2001 season, the Browns held a 21-7 lead over the Bears in the final minute before giving up two touchdowns and losing the game on an interception return in overtime.
Between that game and Sunday, 2,229 teams took a lead of at least 13 points into the final two minutes of a game and all 2,229 of them wound up winning. That streak came to an end thanks to the same team that blew the lead back in 2001.
The Jets scored twice in the final 82 seconds to stun the Browns 31-30 in Cleveland and they got the ball rolling when Joe Flacco hit a wide open Corey Davis for a 66-yard score. A successful onside kick and a relatively easy 53-yard scoring drive followed Davis’ score to hand the Browns a loss a week after they nearly gave a game away against the Panthers.
“Obviously, guys not on the same page,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said, via Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon Journal. “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.”
Stefanski isn’t overselling the need for the Browns to make corrections quickly. They have a Thursday game against the Steelers, so they’ll have to turn the page and fix what’s wrong in a hurry if they want to avoid a 1-2 start to the season.