CLEVELAND — Santonio Holmes never doubted that the Jets were going to beat the Cleveland Browns. Even when the clock showed 24 seconds left in overtime, he said he did not lose faith.
The Jets had squandered a 7-point cushion in the fourth quarter to give the underdog Browns renewed life. But Holmes, the veteran receiver, kept telling quarterback Mark Sanchez that the Cleveland defensive backs were giving him a cushion, and he knew he could exploit it.
So with time running out, Sanchez threw the ball to Holmes on a slant, and he turned it into a 37-yard game winner, making the catch and cruising into the end zone to give the Jets a 26-20 victory with 16 seconds left.
“A tremendous effort on his part,” Coach Rex Ryan said of Holmes. “It’s a short pass, but he makes a great run to win the game for us.”
Asked what he was thinking after Holmes caught the ball, Ryan said, “Run, baby!”
It was the second overtime victory for the Jets (7-2) in two weeks, but the circumstances could not have been more different. At Detroit, the Jets were the ones who came charging back in the fourth quarter for a tie at the end of regulation. They won in overtime on a 30-yard field goal by Nick Folk, who missed three field goals against the Browns, including one of 47 yards that sailed right with 4 minutes 56 seconds left in overtime.