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Jets Q&A: Leonard Williams regrets throwing punch that led to ejection

Leonard Williams #92 of the New York Jets

Leonard Williams #92 of the New York Jets walks to the locker room after his ejection during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Why did Leonard Williams lose his cool?

Williams, who said he “overreacted,” was remorseful about being ejected for throwing a punch at tackle Bryan Bulaga in the second quarter of the Jets’ 44-38 overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. It cost his team because Williams is a good run-stopper. Without him, the Jets let Jamaal Williams and Aaron Rodgers run freely.

“I fully regret it, obviously,” Williams said. “I wish I could’ve been there for my teammates. There are no excuses for what I did. There was a little bit of extra touching and scuffling after the play. I just overreacted. There was nothing said [by Bulaga]. There was a bunch of extra grabbing and hands after the play.”

Williams, who ended his streak without a sack at nine games, said he sat in the locker room and watched the rest of the game.

“I know that I shouldn’t have reacted,” he said. “My emotions just got high and they took over. I didn’t make a smart decision.”   

What did Trumaine Johnson think of the pass-interference call on him in overtime?

He didn’t have any comment. The cornerback, who signed a five-year, $72-million contract in free agency, left without speaking to reporters.  

What happened when Sam Darnold had Deontay Burnett open in the corner of the end zone?

It was second-and-10 from the 15 with about 30 seconds left in regulation, and Darnold had the chance to outduel Rodgers and lift the Jets to victory. He had Burnett in stride but overthrew his former USC teammate, with the receiver making a spectacular one-handed catch out of the end zone. The Jets had to settle for the tying field goal and never got the ball in overtime.

“As an offense, we’ve got to finish,” Darnold said. “We had a chance to put the game away. I missed Tay in the back of the end zone there late. It [stinks] no matter how you lose. It just [stinks].

“You always want to go out there and make a mark on the game. I had my chance late in the fourth quarter and just missed Tay by a little bit.”   

Was Andre Roberts surprised that the Packers kicked off to him with 1:16 left in regulation?

It was a surprise that the Packers didn’t try to squib it or just kick it into the end zone to keep the ball out of Roberts’ hands. The first-time Pro Bowler, who already had a 99-yard return for a touchdown in the game, returned this one 51 yards to the 38.

“I don’t know what they were trying to do,” Roberts said. “But I was hoping they would kick to me. I don’t think they were planning on kicking it deep. I think it was a little bit of a mortar [a kick that goes straight up and not past the 25] to try and mess up our timing. But what we did worked.”   

What did the Jets think when they converted that fake punt?

They probably thought they would win, especially after the way they had moved the ball for much of the game. On fourth-and-1 from the Jets’ 31 with about 4 1⁄2 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Rontez Miles took a direct snap and ran 4 yards for the first down. The Jets got another first down on a facemask penalty but went three-and-out and had to punt.

“Coach [Brant] Boyer does a great job getting us set up,” Miles said. “The head coach gave us the go-ahead. It was a great feeling. We’ve been wanting to run it since last season. It felt great to get it, but it don’t matter if you don’t get the win.”

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