The yardage was very impressive (486!) but the goal is to get the ball in the end zone and that was a nearly impossible task for the Jets on Sunday. Their red zone offense was abysmal, particularly inside the 10 where they were 1-for-3 in goal-to-go situations. Mike White threw for 369 yards and ran for the team’s only touchdown of the game. His two interceptions can be discounted; one was off a tipped pass to open the game and the other a desperation throw into the end zone to end it. Garrett Wilson’s 162 receiving yards made him the most exciting player on the field. They had three really good chances for touchdowns that were thwarted by a penalty (on George Fant), a step out of bounds (by Wilson) and a drop (by Braxton Berrios).
After a slow start and allowing 20 points in the first half the unit settled in and forced four three-and-outs in the second half and another drive that went six plays but netted only 10 yards. But they also gave up a 7-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that wound up becoming the game’s deciding points (giving Minnesota a 27-15 lead). The Jets had no takeaways and let the Vikings convert 9 of 18 third downs and their lone fourth down attempt. What they did well was mostly keep the Vikings stars from scorching them with explosive plays. Justin Jefferson scored a TD but was limited to 45 receiving yards and no plays over 10 yards while Dalvin Cook had 86 rushing yards but just one carry for more than 11.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
Greg Zuerlein’s five field goals kept the Jets in the game, especially his 60-yarder at the end of the first half that kept the deficit at 20-6. Berrios may have dropped a possible touchdown late as a receiver but gave the Jets some spark in his punt returns, including a 15-yard effort. He wound up with 37 return yards on three efforts. Braden Mann only punted twice. His first could have been a better effort as it went far out of bounds and was spotted at the 26 (the Vikings scored a TD on that possession). His second was better and fair-caught at the 14 (although the Vikings scored a TD on that possession too).
The Jets might not have scored any touchdowns had Robert Saleh not challenged the spot on Mike White’s 1-yard run and second effort that was initially ruled short of the goal line but reversed for a scoring play. He was 1-for-2 on challenges and his first half red flag on a Vikings first down spot was a good one even though it wasn’t overturned. Down 17-3 late in the first half, Saleh opted to try and convert a fourth-and-2 from the Jets’ 43 late. Not a terrible decision but they needed a better play than the quick pass to Tyler Conklin that fell incomplete. The teams wound up trading field goals in the 1:56 remaining in the second quarter. The second-half adjustments made on both sides of the ball helped the Jets contain the Vikings on defense and move the ball efficiently on offense.