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By: Billy Riccette
These certainly aren’t the same old Jets anymore. The 2022 Jets are for real and just scored their biggest win of the season, defeating the Buffalo Bills, 20-17, to move to 6-3 heading into their bye week. Let’s run through some quick thoughts and hand out some game balls from this win.
- While he wasn’t great, Zach Wilson certainly played better than he did against the Patriots. He only threw for 154 yards, but did complete 18 of his 25 passes with a 101.1 rating and, for the most part, took care of the football, though he did lose a fumble. You can argue this was his best game since the Steelers game. The Jets didn’t win because of Wilson, but they didn’t completely win in spite of him, either.
- The Jets did, however, absolutely win thanks to their defense. The Jets caused Josh Allen to have one of his worst games in quite some time. It was the first game for Allen in which he did not throw a touchdown pass since Week 17 of last season (though he did rush for two touchdowns). The Jets sacked Allen five times and picked him off twice (and could have had a few more). Allen finished with a QB rating of 46.8, as he went just 18/34 for 205 yards and two interceptions through the air. What’s even wilder is, per ESPN Stats and Info, the Jets only blitz twice. Twice. And they still sacked Allen five times and hit him eight times.
- Not only that, but the Jets held the Bills to just three points in the second half, a huge reason the Jets were able to stay with the run game and overcome what was at one point an 11-point deficit.
- The Jets gashed the Bills in the run game, especially at the end of the game, as the entire final drive that wound up winning the game for the Jets was pretty much all on the ground between James Robinson and Michael Carter, who combined for 124 yards on 25 carries Sunday.
- Also on that drive, Denzel Mims caught his only pass of the game, but it was a big one. A 12-yard catch to get the Jets to the 6-yard line and set them up for the game-winning field goal by Greg Zuerlein.
- This was a huge win for the Jets. They now sit at 6-3 heading into their bye week, remain in the first wild card position and are just a half-game behind the Bills for first place in the AFC East with a 2-1 division record and wins over the Bills and Dolphins, who are also 6-3.
- The AFC East is also the only division with every team boasting a winning record through nine weeks. Besides the Bills, Jets and Dolphins all with six wins, the Patriots also have a winning record and 5-4 and are only a half-game behind the Chargers for the final playoff spot in the AFC. Not shabby for the division, especially when you see the NFC South being led with a 4-5 record.
Four pressures allowed. While the Jets seemed to swarm Josh Allen throughout the game, the Jets’ offensive line did a good job for the most part at keeping Zach Wilson clean. Per TruMedia, the Jets allowed just four pressures of Wilson, a key reason Wilson was able to move the ball, namely to Garrett Wilson (eight catches, 92 yards). The Bills sacked Wilson twice and only hit him three times, compared to the aforementioned five sacks and eight quarterback hits the Jets laid on Allen. We’ll also keep an eye on the status of Allen, as his arm was a bit banged up at the end of the game. Bottom line is the Jets kept Wilson fairly clean and gave their offense a chance to win and they did.
Sauce Gardner: Stefon Diggs had a good move on Gardner early in the game. Gardner would eventually get the last laugh with a pass-breakup on Diggs on fourth down that sealed the game for the Jets and also added an interception and a team-high seven tackles. Gardner has a chance to win his third Pepsi Rookie of the Week honor and give the Jets their sixth straight win in the category and seventh overall this season. Also, some love to D.J. Reed, who also had a pass breakup and recorded four tackles, as the Jets’ cornerback duo continues to be one of the best in the NFL.
Michael Carter and James Robinson: The Jets’ new backfield duo for the rest of the season came up big on the game-winning drive. On a drive that started at the 4-yard line, Robinson started the drive with three nice runs and the Jets were quickly out to the 36-yard line. Carter added 36 yards on the next three plays and the Jets were quickly right outside the red zone. The pair combined for 71 of their 124 total rushing yards on the drive. It’s no Breece Hall, by any means, but the Jets have at least kept their rushing attack above water with the addition of Robinson and still having Carter.
Garrett Wilson: The No. 10 overall pick has been picking up steam of late. Week 9 he was the receiver for Zach Wilson. He caught eight of Zach Wilson’s 18 completed passes and had 92 of Zach’s 154 yards passing. No other receiver for the Jets even hit 20 yards receiving. The Wilson-to-Wilson connection is getting better and the best part for the Jets is there is still a lot of room to grow for both Wilsons.
The Jets are for real and we can actually start thinking playoffs. With nine games down and eight to go and with the Jets sitting at 6-3, this team looks legit and looks like they can actually grab a playoff spot. With the way the playoff standings are shaping up, it’s looking like nine teams battling for the seven spots. The Bills, Jets and Dolphins have six wins each with the Titans/Chiefs winner joining them. The Ravens, Chargers, Patriots and Bengals each have five wins and then there’s a drop to the 3-5-1 Colts and so on.
Here’s the remaining schedule for the Jets after their bye: at Patriots, vs. Bears, at Vikings, at Bills, vs. Lions, vs. Jaguars, at Seahawks, at Dolphins.
All three of their home games are winnable, so if they can do that and win just once on the road, that’s ten wins and that could be enough to snag a playoff spot. There’s still a lot of football left to be played, but the possibility of postseason football looks a lot more real than it did at the beginning of the season. Heck, the Jets have already hit the over on their Vegas win total in just nine games. Vegas set the over/under at 5.5 wins for the Jets and they’re already at six. It’s already been quite the season and there are still eight games left. At least.
Originally posted on Jets Wire