Jets coach Robert Saleh couldn’t do anything but put his hands on his knees in disbelief.
After an ugly game with little offense, the Jets lost a heart-breaking game to the Patriots on a last-second punt return touchdown by New England.
Marcus Jones received the punt from Braden Mann with less than 30 second remaining in the 3–3 game, and returned the kick 84 yards for a game-winning score that delivered a devastating blow to the Jets hopeful season.
Gang Green is now in last place in the AFC East at 6–4. If they won the game, they would have moved into first place in the division.
Jones’ return marked the first punt return touchdown in the NFL this season, and the Patriots beat the Jets for the 14th-straight time.
PUNT RETURN TD WITH 5 SECONDS LEFT! @Patriots
— NFL (@NFL) November 20, 2022
“You make one mistake, and they’ll make you pay,” Saleh said, reflecting on the play.
Overall, Saleh was vocal about his disappointment in the team’s offense, which only recorded two yards in the entire second half.
‘It was dogs—,” he said.
That marked the 17th punt in the game, with the Jets punting nine times. The kick was low, which will surely draw significant criticism, and allowed Jones to beat the Jets special teams with space.
The brutal ending for New York came after a stellar performance by the Jets defense for four quarters, and a horrific showing by the team’s offense.
Quarterback Zach Wilson, coming off the best game of his career prior to the bye week against the Buffalo Bills, looked completely out-of-sorts for the entire matchup, and completed just nine of 22 passes on the day for 77 yards.
The offensive line did him no favors, as Bill Belichick’s defense sacked Wilson four times, and was bringing significant pressure all game.
After the game, Saleh dismissed the idea of a change at quarterback, saying it was the “furthest thing from my mind.”
For his part, Wilson noted the weather at Foxboro, saying it was “windy as hell” during the game.
Meanwhile, the Patriots defense stuffed the Jets running game through four quarters, as they collected just 59 yards on the ground through 23 attempts.
Their only points came in the second quarter, when the Jets managed to gain 46 yards on nine plays, and set up Greg Zuerlein for a 46-yard field goal.
The abominable showing by the Jets offense wasted one of the great defensive showings of the year from the team’s defense, which was nothing short of fabulous on Sunday.
With six sacks on the game, the team’s defense played lock-down football for four quarters, and held quarterback Mac Jones and Belichick’s offense to three points until their special teams eked out the victory for New England.
Jones’ stats look better than they should, as he managed to complete 23 of his 27 passes for 246 yards — though most of his completions were short screen passes, and he couldn’t muster anything when his team got into Jets territory.
The Patriots managed 99 yards on the ground.
This loss put the Jets out of the driver’s seat in the AFC East.
They had previously been in control of their destiny, as they could have secured first place in the division, while owning the tie-breaker over the Dolphins and Bills.
Instead, Gang Green dropped to a worse record than both of those teams, and allowed New England to catch them in the standings, while holding the tie-breaker over them.
Next, the team will head home next week to take on the Chicago Bears on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.