Red zone woes cost Jets against Vikings, fall to 7–5

Jets quarterback Mike White is tackled by Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks during the second half.
Jets quarterback Mike White is tackled by Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks during the second half.
AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

Despite some late-game magic from quarterback Mike White, the Jets inability to score in the red zone cost New York a win on Sunday, as they fell to the Vikings 27-22 in Minnesota.

The game came down to two critical drives, when the Vikings stopped Gang Green as they trailed by 5 points inside the 20-yard line on both, which came in the final five minutes of regulation. 

A touchdown on either drive would have given the Jets the lead, and put them in the driver’s seat for the contest. 

On one drive, the Jets brought the offense all the way to the 1-yard line, before being stopped on four consecutive plays, and turned the ball over on downs. 

After the two minute warning, the team got the ball back and marched down to the 19-yard line, but saw three straight incompletions, and an interception by White to seal the Vikings win with 16 seconds remaining. 

The inability to get into the endzone was a common theme for New York on Sunday, as they were forced to settle for field goals on five different drives earlier in the game. 

One of those field goals from Greg Zuerlein set a franchise-record for the longest made kick in the team’s history at 60 yards. 

Through four quarters, they were 1-for-6 in the red zone.

“They were 3-3 in the red zone, we were 1-6. We were 1-3 in goal-to-goal situations. Can’t win the game just kicking field goals,” said head coach Robert Saleh.

White was making his second start this year after taking over the starting role in place of Zach Wilson, who was benched after his lackluster performance in Week 11. 

On Sunday, White put on a solid performance, and finished with 31 completions on a whopping 57 attempts. He had 369 yards and a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown that made it a one-score game — just before both red zone stops.

“Mike did a great job,” said Saleh. “I thought he kept his composure, and made some big throws.”

He also showed off his incredible chemistry with wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who continued his stellar rookie campaign with eight catches for 162 yards, including a 60-yard reception in the fourth quarter. 

Veteran wideout Corey Davis added another 85 yards on five catches.

Meanwhile, undrafted rookie Bam Knight led the team’s rushing attack, as he carried the ball 15 times for 90 yards. 

On the defensive side of the ball, the hard-hitting Jets team made several critical stops, and limited the Vikings to just 287 yards of total offense. 

But unlike the Jets, the Vikings were able to get the ball across the goal line with relative consistency, and did enough to give Minnesota their 10th win of the season. 

Sunday’s game moves Gang Green to a 7–5 record for third place in the AFC East, and deals a worrying blow to their chances of making the playoffs. 

For more coverage of the Jets, head to amNY.com.

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