New York Jets squander prime opportunity to claim AFC East, losing in devastating fashion

Ryan Moran
new york jets, robert saleh
Oct 9, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh celebrates a touchdown run by quarterback Zach Wilson (not pictured) against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Where do we even begin? Just a dreadful day for the New York Jets. With an opportunity to take first place in the division, a 10-3 loss on a punt return with five seconds left drops them to last place in the AFC East.

No other way to start, Zach Wilson is fully responsible for this loss. He completed nine passes on 22 attempts for 77 yards. An average of 3.5 yards per attempt. Pathetic. He held the Jets offense back to six first downs all game, two of which came from penalties. In total, he led the offense to 103 yards and 2.1 yards per play — a terrible outing.

He may not have thrown an interception or had any turnovers, but routine three and outs essentially the entire game equates to one, if not more.

After Wilson, Mike LaFleur was no better today. Nothing was easy for this entire offense all game. Michael Carter and James Robinson combined for just 15 carries in a game they should have had double. The Jets could never stay ahead of the chains from a down-and-distance standpoint. They averaged 2.6 yards per carry.

Lastly, on the forgettable offense showing, the line allowed four sacks and did not have a great day themselves.

The play that lost this one, a punt return on the final play that went for 84 yards, many questions to ask. With virtually no time on the clock, why was the ball not just punted out of bounds? Again, with such little time on the clock, why was the ball not punted shorter to make life easier on the gunners and coverage unit as a whole? How did the coverage break contain on such a long-distance return? Just a disaster, no matter how you review it.

The New York Jets defense deserved a win:

You cannot help but feel awful for the Jets’ defensive unit. They held the Patriots to three points and 297 yards despite being on the field for 35:30. The unit totaled six sacks.

Defensively, the Jets had one fourth-down stop and held the Patriots to 0-2 in the red zone. Just a tough way for them to go down with the Wilson-led offense in this one.

After this bitter loss, the Jets now sit at 6-4 and have hurt themselves badly in a possible tiebreak scenario with the Patriots. No other way to say it, this one is beyond frustrating for the Jets.