The Jets won a game against a 2-12 team Sunday at MetLife.
But these were your 3-11 Jets who were at most a 1.5 favorite. And, the Jets got a gift when Jaguars’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence made a couple of rookie mistakes in the game’s final two plays at the goal line.
Still, there was joy in Jetsville Sunday night in their 26-21 victory.
The Jets showed they can be a competitive team. As it has been after their three other victories this season, they have to be consistent.
They’re not there yet, but Sunday’s victory could be a good-size stepping stone toward it.
They were far from perfect, but they were creative, aggressive, and confident. This was a team that had 20 players along with head coach Robert Saleh on the COVID-19 list, losing lead defensive lineman Quinnen Williams overnight to virus.
The Jets pulled this one together in all three faces of the game.and even though he missed an extra point, Eddy Pinerio looks like the solution to the team’s kicking woes the past two seasons with his three field goals.
It was a day when the Jets showed they were still working on the framing of their new foundation.
What’s most important for the Jets from this game was their running game.
They amassed a total of 273, 19 of them from quarterback Zach Wilson, who set a new franchise mark for his overall total and also for 52-yard scamper.
Wilson threw for 102 yards, but he orchestrated a balanced game with a veteran presence. It has been an interception in his last three games.
Rookie sensation Michael Carter accounted for 118 yards, and looked impressive in his quest for them. Tevin Coleman again was a good complement, and the duo continues to have potential.
Return specialist/wide receiver Braxton Berrios should have been elected to the Pro Bowl for his returns and his 103-yarder for a touchdown further justified his cause. Berrios also had five catches, and he has proved to be invaluable in that role with the team’s injuries and inconsistencies there.
Defensively, they played better than in the previous three weeks, and they held sturdy on four down from their own five-yard line on four downs, even though the Jaguars had an illegal motion penalty on their final play.
Lawrence did throw for 280 yards –his third best season total but he made enough misconnections to not allow his team to gain control.
Jets’ defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, who has been under fire for allowing 380-plus yards per game, kept Lawrence off balance with his blitzing schemes. Ulbrich also was missing eight players from his regular rotation with COVID and other issues.
Interim head coach Ron Middleton was given a game ball from Jets’ ownership after the game. Middleton had the Jets well prepared, and he went for it on all five close fourth-down situations, converting three of them.
For the Jets now, it will be about being consistent.
They find the answer to that question next week when Tom Brady and his Super Bowl- defending surging Buccaneers come to town for the home finale.
In the meantime, the Jets can cherish a much-needed victory and one they earned.