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Smith's Arm, Legs Lead Jets Past Browns 24-13

The rookie quarterback had his first game with at least two TD passes since October and committed no turnovers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jets head coach Rex Ryan speaks after a win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday. See the whole news conference at the team's website. (Published Monday, Dec 23, 2013)

    If this was Rex Ryan's home finale as the New York Jets' coach, his players made it a good one.

    Geno Smith threw two touchdown passes to David Nelson and ran for another score as the Jets topped the Cleveland Browns 24-13 on Sunday.

    With Ryan's job status uncertain, the Jets showed no signs of a team playing out the string. The players and coaches took a victory lap and high-fived fans after the game.

    Smith had his first game with at least two TD passes since October, with no turnovers or sacks. The rookie was 20 of 36 for 214 yards and also ran for 48 yards — including a 17-yard scoring scamper in the fourth quarter.

    Chris Ivory rushed for 109 yards on 20 carries for the Jets (7-8), who were eliminated from the playoff picture last week. Nelson, cut by the Browns after training camp, finished with four catches for 33 yards.

    Jason Campbell was intercepted twice as the Browns (4-11) lost their sixth straight, and the offense was hurt with star tight end Jordan Cameron out with a concussion.

    Edwin Baker had a touchdown run, and Josh Gordon was somewhat held in check by rookie Dee Milliner, catching six passes for 97 yards.

    With the game tied at 10, Nelson got his second touchdown catch of the game on the second play of the fourth quarter, a 5-yarder. Smith last threw at least two touchdown passes at Atlanta in Week 5 — on Oct. 7.

    Two plays after Baker's 2-yard touchdown run was nullified by a false start penalty on Gary Barnidge, Billy Cundiff kicked a 21-yard field goal to make it 17-13.

    New York took control of the game with a drive of over 6 minutes capped by Smith zipping up the middle for a 17-yard touchdown, his fifth rushing score of the season, to make it 24-13 with 3:19 left. The Jets converted four third-down plays on the drive, including Smith's TD.

    Ed Reed intercepted Campbell in the closing moments to seal the win for the Jets.

    The Browns led 10-0 late in the first half, but it could have been more. Campbell threw three straight incompletions — the last two to Gordon — from the Jets 1 early in the second quarter to turn the ball over on downs.

    Then the Jets scored twice in 78 seconds to tie the game. Nelson capped a 13-play drive by catching a 6-yard pass in the back of the end zone for his first touchdown with New York.

    After the Browns went three-and-out, the Jets got the ball back with 34 seconds left. Bilal Powell ripped off a 39-yard run to put New York in Browns territory, followed by an 8-yard scramble by Smith.

    Smith then took off again for an 11-yard gain and was shoved by Tashaun Gipson out of bounds — and the quarterback appeared to embellish it, dropping to the ground. The late hit angered the Jets' sideline, including a fired-up Ryan, and a few players on both sides shoved each other a bit. It ended up being an unnecessary roughness penalty on Gipson that put the ball at the 14.

    After Kellen Winslow's 11-yard catch, Nick Folk kicked a 21-yarder as time expired.

    The Jets couldn't take advantage of first-round pick Dee Milliner's first NFL interception midway through the third quarter as Folk hit the right upright on a 49-yard attempt, only his second miss of the season.