The first half looked like the Jets were heading toward a familiar F, but they wound up playing at a point per minute pace in the second half to snap out of their prolonged offensive doldrum. It was their first game this season with three offensive touchdowns and they scored all of them in a span of 16:38. Zach Wilson found that balance between patience and aggression and the result was a season-high 301 passing yards and a rating of 117.9. Seven different players had rushing plays and seven caught passes for the suddenly balanced attack.
C.J. Stroud entered the game as the NFL’s leader in passing yards and left it after throwing for a measly 91 (53 net after accounting for the four sacks he took). The Jets allowed just one scoring drive, but even more impressive is that was the only drive they allowed the ball into their own territory. There weren’t any takeaways (they dropped two sure interceptions) but did force punts to end the first eight possessions of the game and then finished the contest with three straight four-and-outs with turnovers on downs. The Texans were 1-for-15 on third and fourth downs.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Thomas Morstead planted three of his five punts inside the 20 and Greg Zuerlein had field goals of 51, 55 and 44 yards in the fourth quarter. The Texans had one long punt return for 22 yards while Jets rookie Xavier Gipson had three returns for 17 yards. A few minor flaws prevented the Jets from an A such as the touchback on their first punt of the game, their inability to recover the punt Houston’s Desmond King II muffed inside his own 5 (former Jet Adrian Amos recovered that for the Texans) and a penalty for lining up over the snapper just before the half (which was declined).
Robert Saleh and Nathaniel Hackett gave Wilson the “let ‘er rip” directive and while it may not have sunk in until the second half it certainly paid off for the Jets. The play designs on the first two touchdowns, a pass to Randall Cobb (remember him?) and a sweep to Gipson, were outside the normal boring stuff the Jets had been running. The defensive gameplan was stellar and did something few teams have been able to do this season: Make Stroud look like a rookie. Saleh did have a bad challenge when he tried to overturn a sideline play by Garrett Wilson. Guess he was letting ‘er rip, too.