The Jets believed they were different. This was the moment they could prove it. And you can argue they were on their way to doing just that.
But then the Jets did a Jets thing. And here we are. The four-game win streak fell by the wayside Sunday in excruciating fashion. The chance to finally beat the Patriots went up in flames, a 22-17 loss at MetLife Stadium after New England scored 19 straight points to take control and win its 13th straight meeting in the series. Now a team on the rise suddenly looks like a potential pretended.
What will haunt the Jets for a long time: They had the Patriots on the ropes. An 84-yard interception return for a touchdown by cornerback Michael Carter II gave the Jets a 16-3 pending the extra point with 37 seconds left in the first half. Oh, but defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers was flagged for roughing the passer on Mac Jones.
Roughing the passer erases a brutal 84-yard pick six thrown by Mac Jones. pic.twitter.com/H6mByt9emG
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) October 30, 2022
The score was wiped off the board. New England then managed to kick a field goal with its second chance. A 10-point swing. And then the Patriots added 16 more in the second half while the Jets offense disappeared until the waning moments.
Quarterback Zach Wilson continues to concern. He finished 20-of-41 for 355 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Two of the picks came in the second half, all in his own territory. The Jets are now halfway through Wilson’s second season and they still do not necessarily know what he is. And the lack of a running game in their first game without Breece Hall did not help the cause either.
Wilson did mount a late rally, connecting with Tyler Conklin for his second touchdown of the day to make it 22-17 with just under two minutes to go. But the Jets had no timeouts, the Patriots recovered the onside kick and that was that.
The Jets are 5-3 now heading into next weekend’s showdown with the AFC-leading Bills. They then have the Patriots (4-4) again in three weeks after an open date. So they could be 5-5 in a heartbeat with their playoff push potential derailed before Thanksgiving. And even worse, there are growing signs Wilson may not be the guy.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]