The Jets are still reeling from their brutal loss to the Patriots, which saw New England score a last-minute punt return touchdown to break a 3–3 tie, and beat Gang Green 10–3.
Sunday’s loss puts the Jets in last place in the AFC East. A win would have propelled them into first place.
Now sitting at 6–4 on the season, the Jets will need to recuperate if they have any chance of making the playoffs.
The loss marked the 14th-straight time that the Jets have fallen to the Bill Belichick-led Patriots.
So, now we’ll look at who performed well, and who struggled with another edition of Studs and Duds.
Like each week, this column will only look at the performance in the most recent game, identifying who stepped up and who struggled — and what fans can expect from the New York roster in the weeks to come.
Let’s start with the bad, as there was much blame to go around.
Simply put, Wilson was terrible on Sunday.
He finished the game with nine completions on 22 attempts for a total of 77 yards and no touchdowns. The only good thing you can say about the second-year quarterback is that he didn’t throw any interceptions (although that was pure luck, as Patriots defenders dropped multiple easy picks), as he tossed three interceptions in their previous matchup.
After the game, Wilson was asked whether he owed the defense an apology after they played a stellar game for four quarters, and he replied simply “no.”
He missed several open receivers, including some that would have scored touchdowns, and instead opted to throw short passes on check-downs when his first read wasn’t available.
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) November 21, 2022
The quarterback has only thrown four touchdowns on the year (after missing the first three games) and surpassed that with five interceptions.
He has a 55.56% completion rate on the year, including a 40.91 % rate on Sunday.
Wilson played horribly on Sunday.
Jets’ offensive line
Now that we’ve established Wilson’s lackluster play, we should also acknowledge that he wasn’t protected very well, either.
The offensive line of the Jets has been decimated with injuries over the course of the year, but that shouldn’t excuse their porous play on Sunday.
Wilson was sacked four times, and was under constant pressure from the Patriots defensive.
Defenders were constantly getting around the Jets offensive line, and stuffing up the team’s running game — they garnered 59 yards on 23 attempts.
Wilson should have played better, but the offensive line did him no favors.
After four quarters of play, the game was tied. Then, the Jets special teams allowed New England’s Marcus Jones to receive a punt with under 30 seconds to go and return it 84 yards for a game-winning score.
PUNT RETURN TD WITH 5 SECONDS LEFT! @Patriots
— NFL (@NFL) November 20, 2022
The punt from Braden Mann was low, which allowed Jones to begin the run before the Jets defenders could get to him, and when they did, they completely lost track of him.
In fairness to the special teams, they were on the field for several punts — nine times, to be exact.
That must wear on a group, but that’s no excuse.
Special teams captain Justin Hardee took the blame for allowing the score, and noted that there may have been some missed penalties on the play — but when you allow a punt return touchdown in the last seconds of a tied game, you’ll end up in the “duds” category.
Now, for the good stuff.
The Jets defense
One of the larger tragedies of the game for New York is that the terrific effort by the Gang Green defense went to waste.
Led by C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams, the team of defenders put on one of the great performances of the year, and held the Patriots to just three total points on offense.
They sacked Mac Jones a whopping six times, and were constantly pressuring him through the duration of the game. They also had eight tackles-for-losses.
Meanwhile, they held New England to just 99 yards on 26 attempts (including one missed play where Damian Harris ran for 30 yards).
The secondary was all over the Pats’ wide receivers, and forced check-downs as they couldn’t get open.
That performance was incredible, and the offense should take all the blame for the loss — even if Zach Wilson doesn’t want to admit it.