Zach Wilson of the New York Jets throws a pass...

Zach Wilson of the New York Jets throws a pass against Kansas City at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. Credit: Jim McIsaac

OFFENSE: It was much better. Zach Wilson was much better. The offense was opened up more and he looked good running it. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Wilson and the Jets showed progress after two weeks of sorry offensive play. Wilson had one of his best games as a Jet, throwing two touchdown passes — matching his previous season total — and completing a career-high 28 passes. He had a 105.2 passer rating, easily the best of his career. He also spread the ball around as 10 different receivers caught passes. The one glaring miscue was the fumbled snap in the fourth quarter that led to Kansas City's game-closing drive. The Jets' running game also showed up. They ran for 108 yards, more than the previous two games combined.


DEFENSE: The Jets needed the defense to be sharp early and it wasn’t. Kansas City scored on its first three possessions (one field goal and two touchdowns). The two touchdowns were for 48 and 34 yards, so there were too many breakdowns. Penalties also were a problem. Jermaine Johnson was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on the first play of the game, giving Kansas City 15 yards. The late-game penalties hurt the Jets as well. C.J. Mosley had one for illegal contact and Sauce Gardner was hit with a controversial holding call that turned out to be the biggest play of the game, as it negated Michael Carter II’s interception. But the Jets did intercept Mahomes twice, got two sacks and a safety and held Kansas City to one field goal in the second half.


SPECIAL TEAMS: Xavier Gipson returned a kickoff for 22 yards and a punt for 11. Punter Thomas Morstead continues to be an asset. Four of Morstead’s five punts were either downed or fair caught inside the 20. The punt coverage was solid. Greg Zuerlein made his two extra points and was 1-for-2 on field goals. His 52-yard field-goal try just before the half missed, hitting the upright.


COACHING:  Robert Saleh’s decision to go for the 52-yard field goal opened him up for criticism and second-guessing. Wilson was playing well and moving the ball. It was fourth-and-1 and the Jets were down by eight points. Saleh should have been aggressive there and gone for it. The talk in the locker room was how the Jets were playing to win and not playing not to lose. If they were playing to win, Saleh should have gone for it. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett opened up the playbook for Wilson and let him play more freely. Hackett also got creative with his play-calling. It was a needed change. The defense started slowly but made the necessary adjustments to slow down Kansas City.


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