EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Brandon Marshall turned a turnover into a takeaway and a huge momentum swing for the New York Jets.
Shortly after Cleveland took a 7-0 lead Sunday, Fitzpatrick’s throw to Marshall was picked off by Tashaun Gipson. But the Jets’ wide receiver ripped the ball out of Gipson’s hands for a fumble recovery that gave New York the ball at the Browns 9.
“To me, that was the play of the game,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said.
Moments later, Chris Ivory ran up the middle for a 10-yard tying TD. Fitzpatrick finished with two touchdown passes and Ivory ran for two scores, giving the Jets (1-0) a 31-10 victory in Bowles’ regular-season debut.
The Jets’ offense started slow, and things appeared to be going the Browns’ way when Gipson stepped in front of Fitzpatrick’s underthrown pass. Refusing to give up on the play, Marshall reached in and ended up with the ball.
“I definitely owe him a soda pop for that one,” Fitzpatrick said.
Gipson said he wanted to try to get the Browns (0-1) in better field position and possibly take control of the game — when suddenly he no longer had the ball.
“That has never happened to me,” Gipson said.
Marshall, in his first game with the Jets after being acquired from the Bears in March, also had six catches for 62 yards and a touchdown.
Here are some other things to know from the Jets’ victory over the Browns:
HERE’S JOHNNY: After Josh McCown left with a concussion late in the first quarter, Johnny Manziel came in and had an up-and-down day.
He finished 13 of 24 for 182 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown to Travis Benjamin. He also led the Browns with 35 yards rushing on five carries. But he also lost two fumbles and threw an interception.
“I can’t turn it over,” Manziel said when asked what he needed to do differently.
McCown was hurt when he was hit by Calvin Pryor and Demario Davis when he dived for the goal line on third-and-goal from the Jets 14. McCown must go through the league’s concussion protocol, leaving the Browns’ quarterback situation uncertain.
SCARY MOMENT: Jets rookie linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin was taken to a hospital after being strapped to a board and carted off the field in the fourth quarter. A few hours later, the Jets announced Mauldin has a concussion — but no neck injury, as initially feared — and was hospitalized overnight for observation. The team added that Mauldin was awake and had feeling in all of his extremities.
New York also lost cornerback Antonio Cromartie in the second quarter with an injured left knee. He’s scheduled to have an MRI exam Monday.
BOWLES’ DEBUT: D’Brickashaw Ferguson presented Bowles with the game ball in the locker room as the team got off to a winning start under their new coach. Bowles was hired in January after Rex Ryan was fired following six seasons.
Unlike his predecessor, Bowles is low-key and not easily excitable — except if a certain Motown legend ever shows up.
“Gladys Knight,” Bowles said. “If Gladys comes in here and starts singing or Eddie Levert from The O’Jays, we can talk.”
FITZ FITS IN: Fitzpatrick, who became the starter after Geno Smith had his jaw broken by a punch from a teammate last month, finished 15 of 24 for 179 yards with TDs to Marshall and Eric Decker. The veteran QB was acquired from Houston in the offseason, and efficiently led the offense after a sluggish start.
“He does everything right,” Marshall said. “It would take us 10 minutes to sit down and talk about everything he does right.”
BUMBLING BROWNS: The Browns lost their 11th straight opening game, and sloppiness had a lot to do with it.
Cleveland committed 12 penalties for 109 yards to go along with the five turnovers. The Browns went 0 for 2 in the red zone, while the Jets were 4 for 6.
“To lose the way we did,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said, “it’s difficult to swallow it.”
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