EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rex Ryan won't know for at least eight days if Sunday was his home finale as the head coach of the New York Jets. But if it was, at least the Jets sent him out in spirited fashion.
Quarterback Geno Smith threw a pair of touchdown passes to wide receiver David Nelson and rushed 17 yards for a third score as the Jets stormed back from a 10-point deficit to beat the Cleveland Browns, 24-13, at MetLife Stadium.
The Jets improved to 7-8 just hours after Fox Sports reported that Ryan - who coached the Jets to the AFC Championship game in each of his first two seasons but has not reached the playoffs in the last three years - told players during the week that he expects to be fired after the Jets' regular-season finale.
Playing in front of a half-empty stadium and in one of just three meaningless games on the week 16 schedule, the Jets didn't help Ryan's cause for most of the first half. But they scored on four of their last six possessions and had another end with a missed field goal.
Smith finished 20-of-34 for 214 yards. Jets running back Chris Ivory had 109 yards on 20 carries while fellow running back Bilal Powell added 54 yards on seven rushes. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley had five catches for 70 yards.
Running back Edwin Baker set career highs with 17 carries for 64 yards and rushed for a 5-yard touchdown for the Browns (4-11), who blew a lead in a loss for the seventh time this year and squandered a double-digit lead for the fourth time.
A pair of failed trick plays summarized the Jets' fortunes in the first 25 minutes. An unsuccessful fake punt -- in which safety Josh Bush underthrew safety Isaiah Trufant -- at the end of the Jets' first series gave the Browns a first down at the Jets' 43-yard-line and led to a Billy Cundiff field goal.
The Jets recorded two first downs on their next drive, which stalled when Powell took a Wildcat snap and handed off to wide receiver Saalim Hakim, who was dragged down for an 11-yard loss on an end-around.
The Browns racked up 74 yards on 16 plays on their next possession, when they got to the Jets' one-yard-line but failed to score when Campbell threw incompletions on second, third and fourth down.
After the Jets recorded just one first down on their next series, Browns defensive back Jordan Poyer returned a punt 29 yards to set up a four-play, 41-yard touchdown drive capped by Baker's 5-yard run with 6:51 left in the half.
But the Jets, who had won just one game this season in which they trailed by 10 points, tied the game by halftime. Smith went 4-for-4 on third downs in directing a 13-play, 80-yard drive that he ended with a six-yard touchdown pass to Nelson.
The Browns went three-and-out and the Jets took over at their own 18-yard-line with 34 seconds left. New York drove 79 yards in just five plays thanks to a career-long 39-yard run by Powell on first down and a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on Browns safety Tashuan Gipson. Ryan, so angry upon seeing Gipson shove Smith as he ran out of bounds, had to be held back from going after Gipson by wide receiver Santonio Holmes -- before Nick Folk's 21-yard field goal tied the game as time expired.
Jets cornerback Dee Milliner's first career interception ended a Browns threat in the third quarter, but Folk's 49-yard field goal attempt clanked off the right upright.
The Jets took their first lead when Smith and Nelson hooked up for a 5-yard touchdown to end a 14-play, 81-yard drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters. The Jets were 2-for-2 on third down on the series.
A 50-yard kickoff return by running back Fozzy Whittaker gave the Browns the ball at their own 47, but a two-yard touchdown run by Baker was nullified due to a holding call and the Browns had to settle for a 21-yard field goal by Cundiff.
The Jets sealed the game by marching 80 yards over a span of 6:14. The Jets were 4-of-4 on third down during the drive, which ended when Smith scrambled 17 yards for a score on 3rd-and-2.
NOTES: The Jets hosted the Browns for just the third time since 1991. Every AFC team except Tennessee and Denver has played the Jets at MetLife Stadium, which opened in 2010. … The Browns on Saturday placed WR Davone Bess on the reserve/non-football injury list. Bess is reportedly dealing with a serious family matter in California. … Among the Jets' inactives was CB Ellis Lankster, who suffered a jaw injury against Carolina last Sunday Lankster was listed as probable on the Friday injury report. … Jets LB Calvin Pace recorded his career-high 10th sack when he took down Browns QB Jason Campbell in the first quarter. Pace and DE Muhammad Wilkerson are the first Jets teammates with 10 sacks in a season since Mark Gastineau and Joe Klecko did it in 1981. … Browns CB Buster Skrine suffered a back injury on the Jets' first series but returned to the game later in the first quarter.