Stefanski laments not voicing no-score order
Stefanski took full responsibility Monday for not issuing the offense to avoid the end zone — thus giving the Jets another possession — in the huddle one play before RB Nick Chubb scored a 12-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“I do want to be clear on this one,” Stefanski said when asked if he told QB Jacoby Brissett to relay that message. “I absolutely could have told him that in that situation.”
The Browns were already leading 24-17 at that point of the game and had a first down with 2:02 left on the game clock. The Jets were without a timeout, so the Browns might’ve had a chance to close the game with a few extra run plays or kneel downs, and if there was still time left, K Cade York could’ve added a short field goal to put the Browns up two scores and ensure there was little time left for the Jets.
Instead, Chubb ran to the end zone for another touchdown. The Jets got the ball back with 1:55 left, which was enough time for them to score two touchdowns and recover an onside kick to steal the win. Defensive breakdowns and poor special teams play — York also missed a crucial PAT after Chubb’s touchdown — were among the biggest factors.
So was scoring a touchdown.
“In retrospect, you want to do anything you can to secure the win,” Stefanski said. “That is something that’s my responsibility to communicate to that huddle. Putting yourself up 14 points inside of two minutes, you should close out that game. Yes, I wish I had said that to Nick, and Nick would’ve done it, but it doesn’t change the fact that we had plenty of opportunities to win that game.”
The Browns have already reviewed the tape from Sunday’s stunning 31-30 loss to the Jets and are ready to move on to Week 3.
They have to on such a short week—in four days, the Browns will be back at FirstEnergy Stadium against the Steelers, the shortest amount of time they’ll have between games this season. Short weeks are usually more difficult for teams to digest as they look to cram a week’s worth of preparation into just three days, but this is a rare instance in which it should actually benefit the Browns as they move past a rough loss.
“We have got to very, very quickly turn the page, make corrections and move on because in these short weeks, you just can’t let the previous game linger,” Stefanski said. “You really do have to move on. That’s what we will do.”
The Browns will hold a team meeting and walk-through practice Monday and will jump into a full day of work Tuesday. They’ll wrap up their preparations Wednesday at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus and then jump right back into it Thursday night.