After each game, we'll be highlighting three defensive and three offensive players and looking in detail at their performance. We'll wrap up today with the offense:
Siemian's like old times
Trevor Siemian achieved the impossible on Thursday night as he led the Jets downfield for an opening drive touchdown for the first time in over a year.
The Jets basically came up with three chunk plays on the six-play drive; a 22-yard timing route to Garrett Wilson for a back shoulder catch, a 25-yard burst by Breece Hall and a 21-yard catch and run over the middle to Hall, with Wilson blocking well on the two Hall plays.
The veteran ended up with 262 passing yards but much of this could be considered to have been racked up in injury time. They also failed to score another touchdown on offense after that first drive.
They also only had one more play all day that went for more than 20 yards, on this Siemian pass to Jason Brownlee despite pressure from his right side.
Siemian otherwise didn't have any downfield success other than right before halftime when a play got extended and Tyler Conklin made a tough sideline catch for 20 on a ball thrown behind him.
While it was a fairly efficient performance by Siemian, his one big mistake was inexcusable. He stared down his target over the middle and rookie Ronnie Hickman sat in center field for the easy pick, which he returned for a touchdown to make it a two-score game. The Jets never got closer after that.
The other big problem was not finishing drives. The Jets had to settle for a field goal three times, missing one.
Siemian's limitations are obvious and he's not really an acceptable choice to be Aaron Rodgers' number two next year. However, with that being said, his performance might have been good enough to get the Jets a win if the defense had played as well as they're capable of. He'll get a further chance to make a case for himself on Sunday. Maybe he'll be in the mix to return as the number three.
Yeb and flow
With Jeremy Ruckert concussed and CJ Uzomah already on injured reserve, Kenny Yeboah had a chance to be the number two tight end this week and will again on Sunday. The Jets also elevated rookie Zack Kuntz from the practice squad but didn't use him.
Yeboah played a season-high 25 snaps, but that's only a couple more plays than he got in two of his other three appearances as the third tight end. He did make his first two catches of the year, though, showing nice hands on a quick outside pass for eight and picking up 20 on this catch-and-run at the end of the game.
Yeboah hasn't offered much as a blocker during his career and didn't make much of an impact on Thursday night, although he didn't make any obvious bad mistakes.
One place where his contributions have been useful, though, is on special teams. He's displayed a good ability to block on the return units and has been a contributor as Xavier Gipson has been a little more productive over the past few games.
Once again, he had a good block on Gipson's best kickoff return that got the ball out near the 40. However, he appeared to mess up badly on the play where Israel Abanikanda fumbled. In addition, he was also involved as the Browns got clean pressure on one of Greg Zuerlein's made field goals, although this wasn't entirely his fault as the Browns overloaded that side so he and Billy Turner had three players to pick up between them.
Yeboah has shown he can be a dependable backup but isn't really the kind of player you'd expect to make a roster and see regular action. He doesn't do a lot wrong though, so could be back next year, especially if Kuntz continues to fail to make an impression.
Izzy the man for the job?
As noted, Abanikanda had the bad fumble on his first and last kickoff return of the day, with the Jets moving Gipson back into that role after the fumble. Cleveland failed to punish the turnover as they turned the ball over on downs.
Kuntz wasn't the only active Jet not to see action. Dalvin Cook never saw the field either. Abanikanda filled in as the number two and caught short passes that went for 8, 8 and 10 yards.
He was targeted four other times for just one yard, with a bad drop (the only one of the day for the Jets). He also gained just three yards on his only two carries.
Abanikanda hasn't done too badly so far when given opportunities. He has 107 yards from scrimmage on 26 touches and figures to get more touches on Sunday now that Cook is completely off the team.
While it may be too early for him to undertake a full-time role which requires him to master the nuances of pass protection - and putting him into a return role was probably fitting a square peg into a round hole - there have been enough positive flashes from Abanikanda that the Jets will hold out hope he'll take his game to another level next year.
Previously: Three on D: Johnson, Hector, Adams