FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Austin Seferian-Jenkins dropped a sure touchdown pass in the first quarter Sunday, then had a fourth-quarter touchdown reception overturned because he didn’t firmly hold on to the ball.
Upon further review, it wasn’t a fun day for the Jets tight end at MetLife Stadium. But the personable 25-year-old has let those plays go. It’s on to the Chiefs, who visit Sunday.
“Obviously, the first one I wish I would’ve caught,” Seferian-Jenkins said of the 35-27 loss to the Panthers. “It happens to everybody. Jordan has missed game-winners. People have dropped balls before. This was my first drop of the year. It [expletive] that it happened at that time. And the second one, you can’t control.
“I’ve learned in life if you dwell on things, it doesn’t do anything for you. The only thing you can do is say, ‘Hey, I wish this would’ve worked out differently. It didn’t. Now what can I do better to get ready for next week?’ I’ve been having a great year. I just want to continue to finish stronger and have a phenomenal year.”
It has been a year in which he has turned his career and his life right-side up.
Tampa Bay made him a second-round pick out of Washington in 2014, but a DUI arrest in September of last year led to the Bucs cutting him. The Jets claimed him off waivers, and he caught 10 passes in seven games in 2016. Then he shed weight and sought help to shed drinking as an issue. “I’ll just say I turned that stuff around, and it’s a daily process, a daily work,” Seferian-Jenkins said.
He served a two-game suspension from the NFL, but beginning in Week 3, the 6-5, 262-pounder ranks sixth in catches by a tight end in that span with a career-high 41.
“I’m just always striving to be better,” he said. “ . . . I’m encouraged with what I’ve done this year, and I think the future is bright if I continue to work hard . . . I think I can do some special things. I can really rewrite the narrative, which I’ve already begun rewriting.”
Todd Bowles is enjoying this chapter. “He works hard,” the coach said. “He’s made some great catches for us, made some good plays. There’s a few that got away, but we’re happy we’ve got him.”
A few got away via replay. Besides what happened against Carolina, he had a touchdown turned into a touchback during a 24-17 loss to New England in Week 6. Will his replay luck ever turn?
“If we’re talking about odds, it will never turn for me,” Seferian-Jenkins said, drawing laughs. “ . . . I feel like those games turn out differently if those calls are upheld. But it’s out of my control. I’ve just got to do a better job of finishing.”
Notes & quotes: RB Matt Forte (knee), RG Brian Winters (ankle, abdomen) and DT Xavier Cooper (knee) are questionable. CB Juston Burris (concussion) is out. . . Bowles praised CB Morris Claiborne for “playing solid football,” then added, “He’s got a very colorful personality. He’s probably one of my favorite people.”