Sometimes, scoring a touchdown is a bad thing, unless you’re the Jets – and Nick Chubb knows it.
The Browns star is taking the blame for a touchdown run that should have put away the Jets on Sunday.
Two days after the Browns collapsed and blew a 13-point lead in the final two minutes to lose 31-30 to the Jets, the 26-year-old running back said he made a mistake by going into the end zone for his third TD of the day with 1:55 left.
“I probably shouldn’t have scored right there, honestly, looking back at it,” Chubb told reporters Tuesday. “It cost us the game.”
With the Browns leading 24-17, Chubb took a handoff from the 12-yard line and ran left. He made a cutback, stepped through a tackler and scored to put Cleveland up by 13 and send a raucous home crowd into a frenzy.
But if Chubb had run out of bounds or had been tackled after picking up a first down, the Browns could have simply taken a knee three times, run out the clock and improved to 2-0 for the first time in 29 years.
Chubb’s flub was just the first of a comedy of errors that sunk the Browns and gave head coach Robert Saleh’s Jets a surprising first win of the season.
First, rookie Cade York missed the extra point after Chubb’s TD. Second, the Browns’ secondary failed to communicate and gave up a 66-yard TD pass to Corey Davis. Third, Cleveland wide receiver Amari Cooper failed to recover the Jets’ onside kick. Finally, the Browns let Jets quarterback Joe Flacco, operating with no timeouts, throw a 15-yard TD pass to rookie receiver Garrett Wilson with 22 seconds left.
Chubb didn’t realize until after the game all those other errors by his teammates wouldn’t have happened if he had just gone down before crossing the end zone.
“A lot of things went wrong, not just one thing,” he said. “But collectively as a unit, as a team we could have all done things different, but it’s only a problem because we didn’t win. So I probably should have went down. ”
Kevin Stefanski appreciated that Chubb wants to be accountable, but the head coach also took the blame for not preparing him for that situation.
“Put it on me,” Stefanski said. “The players do not hide from it. I do not hide from it. ”
Chubb, one of the Browns’ team leaders, said it wasn’t an easy play, but he reiterated that he should not have scored.
“It would have been tough [to stop], ”He said. “I think the first-down marker was at the 1 or 2 and the goal line is right there, too. I probably could have got down. It would have been third-and-short, third-and-inches, but it probably could have happened.
“I could have went out of bounds, but people were behind and they would have pushed me in or something like that. I probably should have just dropped down after I made the cut. ”
Surprisingly, Chubb got it right in a similar situation two years ago.
In that game against the Texans, with Cleveland protecting a 10-7 lead, Chubb got loose on a 59-yard run, but instead of scoring, he stepped out of bounds at the 1-yard line and the Browns burned the remaining time.
Two years ago, Stefanski had sent in a play called “no mas” to ensure the clock management.
Chubb said he shouldn’t have had to be told again.
“We all work together,” Chubb said. “We all communicate. But at the end of the day, I’ve been in that situation before and so I really can’t put it on anyone but myself at this point. I think the biggest thing is I was aware of what was going on and I thought the game was over if I’m being honest. ”
– With AP