CLEVELAND — Suffice it to say, it wasn't the home opener Cleveland Browns fans were hoping for.
Despite the Browns laying claim to a 13-point lead with less than two minutes remaining, a series of errors resulted in Cleveland suffering a stunning 31-30 defeat to the New York Jets on Sunday. The heartbreaking collapse resulted in some Browns fans --- those who hadn't already left assuming Cleveland had secured a victory -- booing, which All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett took issue with in his postgame press conference.
“The more disappointing thing was the booing at the end," Garrett replied when asked about fans leaving the home opener disappointed. "It was not the most optimal ending to have. Of course, we want to win. Of course, we want to play out the game and it ends 30-16 or 30-17 whatever it was. We get a pick or a strip sack and end the game, but that’s not always how it goes.
"These guys are still putting their a--es on the line and playing as hard as they can and they should be respected as such," he continued. "It’s two games and we have plenty more to play, especially this next one coming up in front of the home crowd. We have a lot of time to correct what we are doing so we don’t want to see this crowd, this stadium give up on us this early. We want to see them completely behind us."
As Garrett noted, a four-yard Nick Chubb touchdown run gave Cleveland a 30-17 lead with 1:55 remaining in the game after kicker Cade York missed the ensuing extra point attempt. Yet despite the Jets being out of timeouts, wide receiver Corey Davis was able to sneak behind the Browns' defense for a 66-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to cut Cleveland's lead to six points.
New York proceeded to improbably recover the ensuing onside kick, with Flacco engineering a 9-play, 53-yard drive, which he capped with a game-winning 15-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson. Falling to 1-1 on the season, the Browns won't have to wait long to try to get their first home win of the season, as they'll host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football this week.
"It’s disappointing for everybody, but it’s absolutely disappointing as a team knowing that we had them with our foot on their throat and we didn’t finish them," Garrett said. "That’s completely on us, and we learn from this, correct it and come back stronger."