CLEVELAND — The return of Myles Garrett couldn't lift the Browns to their first victory of 2017.
The rookie defensive end and first-overall NFL Draft pick shined in his debut, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Jets in a 17-14 loss Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Garrett recorded two sacks in limited action on a day where Cleveland's defense dominated New York for most of the afternoon.
But as the Browns continued to struggle with self-included wounds and missed opportunities, the Jets sprung to life late, scoring on two of their final three drives.
A turning point came when quarterback Josh McCown tossed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse, capping a backbreaking 97-yard drive midway through the fourth quarter.
Another shift came when backup Kevin Hogan replaced rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer after intermission. Hogan — who passed for 194 yards and two touchdowns —- promptly engineered an impressive drive that ended when he lobbed a 21-yard touchdown pass to David Njoku on the first series of the second half.
Kizer, who has experienced rookie growing pains in his first five games, finished 8-of-17 for 87 yards and an interception.
That momentum was shortlived as Cleveland turned the ball over on its next possession and was unable to convert on 4th-and-short near the goal line two drives later. The Browns cut the deficit to a field goal with under two minutes to play when Duke Johnson scored on a 41-yard catch and run.
In a first half where the Browns outgained the Jets 165-67 in total yards, they were at time their own worst enemy, a dynamic that was partly their undoing in last week's loss to the Bengals.
This time, they watched three promising drives — including two in the red zone — sputter because of turnovers and two missed field goals.
Cleveland's defense, meanwhile, turned in a mostly impressive performance that flustered Jets quarterback Josh McCown and bottled up New York's ground game. McCown, who spent the past two seasons with the Browns, was intercepted once by cornerback Jason McCourty and sacked twice by Garrett.
Garrett, who played for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain days before the season opener, received a raucous ovation during pre-game introductions. He followed that demonstration by recording a sack on his first play of the game, sending the crowd at FirstEnergy Stadium into a frenzy.
While Garrett played on a "pitch count," head coach head coach Hue Jackson said the youngster (who had 31 sacks in three years at Texas A&M) would provide Cleveland a spark. He did exactly that, boosting a pass rush that had struggled throughout the first month of the season.
In the end, it wasn't enough to overcome late lapses on both side of the ball that watched the Browns fall to 0-5 this season and 1-20 since last season.
The Browns travel to Houston next weekend.
The Browns play the New York Jets in Week 6.