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Sim to next season: Wilson benched, defense finally implodes as Jets hopes slip away
The Jets get blown out by the Bills and Zach Wilson finally gets benched. Plus, the end of the road...
What’s Up with the Jets? 🛩️
The Jets lost their third consecutive game and were blown out by the Bills in Buffalo, 32-6 (box)
After nearly 12 full quarters without a touchdown, the Jets finally broke their drought and got into the end zone late in the second quarter (and then they never scored again)
QB Zach Wilson was miserable once again, going 7/15 (46.6 percent) for 81 yards, a touchdown and an interception before being benched in the third quarter
QB Tim Boyle came in for Wilson and went 7/14 (50 percent) for 33 yards and an interception
Robert Saleh declined to name a starting quarterback for Friday’s game in the postgame press conference
RB Breece Hall once again struggled to do anything on the ground, carrying the ball 10 times for 23 yards – Hall did make five catches for 50 yards and a touchdown, however
Following the game, Jets and Bills players got into a fight in the tunnel
Game Balls 🏈
🏈 Thomas Morestead: Yeah, I’m being pretty tongue-in-cheek on this one, but aside from the one touchdown on offense, a surprise throw by the Jets punter really was the best play from this team on an otherwise lost afternoon in Buffalo. If not for that fake punt, the Jets are probably shutout instead of scoring a whopping six points.
🏈 No one: I didn’t expect to dole out a “no one” to this unit again this season, but on Sunday it looked as if the Jets defense finally gave up. While you never want to see a unit throw in the towel, it really is hard to throw too much smoke in the direction of the defense. They’ve had to operate at a near-perfect level all season long, and sometimes that hasn’t even been enough to win with how bad the offense has been. Still, this was the worst performance by the defense this entire season, as they let this one slip away with two touchdown drives allowed in the third quarter, effectively ending the team’s season. It wouldn’t have mattered – the offense was never even getting to 16 points in this one – but it certainly put an emphatic punctuation on this one.
Play of the Week 📺
When you end a touchdown drought that lasted over nearly 12 full quarters and spanning three-plus games, it’s hard to have any other top play than the one that ended it.
Honestly, things had gotten to such a rotten point for this offense that it genuinely felt as if they’d never get back in the end zone. Nathaniel Hackett had a good drive, finally utilizing Breece Hall split-out at wide receiver which opened some things up for a brief moment, but this touchdown really came together thanks to an unexpected fake punt.
So shoutout to Thomas Morestead for a tight spiral that for a brief moment was a better offensive play than the Jets actual offense had run all day. It kept the drive going and allowed for this horrible drought to finally come to an end.
The newsletter that became a coping mechanism ✍️
What happened? How did we get here? Who in the hell starts a Jets newsletter right after Aaron Rodgers suffers a season-ending injury?
These are the questions we’re all asking, the latter of which words that are directly paraphrased from the first article I ever wrote here on Just Jets…
You may be asking “Rich, why are you launching a Jets newsletter days after Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles?” Because I’m a Jets fan and I’m a glutton for punishment.
It was a valid question then, and now they only hit home that much more as yet another season for the New York Jets circles the drain of life’s toilet. Despite it looking as if their season all-but ended with their loss in Las Vegas the week prior, the Jets were gifted with one last chance to get back into things thanks to the recent struggles from the rest of the AFC East.
But, much like last year when they were given chance-after-chance to save their season late in the year, they squandered it. From the moment of the opening kick-off that the Jets subsequently fumbled, you knew this was going to be a long afternoon for this team that simply hasn’t been able to get out of there own way. In that respect, even at 0-0, it was easier as a fan to just let go.
You know where this was heading, and the direction this team has been pointing ever since coming off of their bye week. If you thought their offense was bad before (averaging 16 points per game before their bye), I regret to inform you that it’s somehow only gotten worse.
The Jets are 1-3 since coming off of their bye (and were a miracle comeback vs a team that threw for negative passing yards from being 0-4) and are averaging a measly 9.3 points per game in that stretch. Over the last four weeks, Jets fans have had to watch yet another season that began with so much promise wither and die in front of our very own eyes.
This feeling of frustration, bargaining and despair take me directly back to opening night, the moment Rodgers got hurt, where we were all asking the question to the heavens “why do we keep doing this?” Why do we put any sort of hope or faith into this woebegone franchise? When is it our turn to have everything change?
“I’m sorry to Jets fans,” Breece Hall told SNY after Sunday’s latest defeat. “They don’t deserve this.”
Never in the history of sports – and I say this as someone who’s a Mets and Knicks fan, too – has there ever been a singular franchise that subscribes to Murphy’s Law more than the New York Jets. Most of the time they make all the wrong decisions, and in those rare moments when things actually seem to align for them… it doesn’t matter. Be it fate or just plain old bad luck, something always seems to be destined to intervene and make sure that the good vibes and promise don’t make it out of the month of September.
Even after Rodgers went down in one of the cruelest turns of fate that sports has seen in several years, there was still some hope for this team. But injury after injury, and stupid decision after stupid decision by this front office and coaching staff has only compounded this team’s issues and made it impossible for anything to go right for this team.
So here we are, on another losing Monday asking ourselves why we do this. I’m asking myself the same question as I dedicate a few days each week to continue to write this newsletter and wonder if it even means anything at this point. Though I will say, this all does seem somewhat poetic.
This newsletter was born as a coping mechanism, coming just days after Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon. I had not made plans prior to the injury to launch a Jets newsletter as a partner with Just Mets. But the Rodgers injury was such a difficult pill to swallow as a fan of this team that I felt I had no better way to cope with it than this. Writing about the Jets, as frustrating and tedious as it has been at times this year, has also allowed me an outlet.
This newsletter has become a form of therapy for me when it comes to sports. And in that way, it still has merit. I’m not sure if this acts in that same manner for you as read this probably needing a little extra sugar in that coffee to make things taste just a bit less bitter after another doomed season, but I hope that it does.
Nothing but time will ever truly take away the pain that this season has brought, so all I can hope is that once or twice each week you can afford yourself the same outlet that I do in the form of these newsletters to feel like you have the space to vent, to be angry, to grieve and to feel whatever other feelings you’re valid to feel after each and every one of these games.
Just Jets was born out of a need for a coping mechanism, after all… so we might as well use it as one.
Next Week’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Jets (4-6) vs Dolphins (7-3)
Where: MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ
When: Friday, 3:00 PM EDT
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video
Around the NFL 🏁
Browns rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson led the team to a game-winning drive in the final two minutes to knock-off the Steelers and improve to 7-3
The 49ers return to dominance continued, earning their second consecutive blowout win after thrashing the Buccaneers
Giants third string QB Tommy DeVito threw three touchdown and New York’s defense forced six turnovers in their 31-19 win over the Commanders that hurt their tanking efforts
Texans QB CJ Stroud continued his strong rookie campaign as Houston outlasted the Cardinals, 21-16
The Dolphins returned to their winning ways vs sub-500 teams with a tight victory over the Raiders thanks to 146 yards from WR Tyreek Hill