Jets lose devastating game to Vikings on back of Garrett Wilson masterclass

new york jets, garrett wilson
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) breaks up a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

One bitter feeling for all New York Jets fans. After trailing 20-3 on the road to a now 10-2 Minnesota Vikings team, the Jets battled back.

The Jets may have never taken the lead, but they had a chance to win this one all the way. And the grit of this football team was yet again on display until the very end.

Unfortunately, though, in the midst of an AFC playoff hunt that is too close for comfort, grit and “almost” wins are not going to cut it.

Poor red zone efficiency costs the New York Jets:

Following this painful loss, the Jets now drop to 7-5 on the year. While the start in the first half on both sides of the football was nowhere near good enough, the Jets still could have taken this game.

What ultimately held them back was a forgettable day inside the 20 offensively, in which the Jets went 1-6. Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is, of course everyone’s main culprit, and rightfully so, with constant too-cute play calling in the red zone and refusing to run the ball from the one-yard line. The second being Braxton Berrios after dropping a touchdown that would have taken the lead and potentially gotten the Jets the win.

The good is that it was a second-consecutive game in which you could feel good about what Mike White proved. His toughness, command, decision-making, and accuracy were there for most of the day. He threw two interceptions but however, one was a tipped pass, and the other was on the final play of the game when he had to take a chance as opposed to taking a sack. White finished 31-57 (54.4 completion %), throwing for 369 yards (6.5 per attempt) and had a rushing touchdown. Most importantly, White showed the ability to make clutch throws late in this tight game.

From there, it was yet another awesome week for rookies Zonovan “Bam” Knight and Garrett Wilson. Knight now has two 100-yard scrimmage games in his first two NFL appearances. Today, he got 15 carries, totaling 90 yards (six per carry), highlighted by one 48-yarder, and had five catches for 28 yards (118 all-purpose). Wilson propelled the Jets’ passing game all day. He finished with eight catches for 162 yards (20.3 per catch) with a long of 60.

It was an uncharacteristic first half from the Jets’ defense, as really everything went wrong. Whether it was the run defense, pass rush, tackling, coverage, winning the down-and-distance, and third down, they struggled. It led to 20 first-half points given up. They did, however, put together a fantastic second half aside from the lone Vikings touchdown drive. The unfortunate key for the Jets’ defense was similar to the painful loss to the Patriots, not creating a turnover.

Finally, on special teams, Greg Zuerlein was outstanding today, keeping the Jets in this football game. He went 5-5 with a ridiculous 60-yarder he made before the half that helped the Jets gain some momentum before the second-half surge.