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Jeffrey Becker | USA TODAY Sports

This Jets loss will linger.

An inability to find the end zone, both early and late, and too many third-down slip-ups sealed Gang Green’s fate in a devastating 27-22 defeat at the hands of the Vikings in Minneapolis. The Jets twice battled back from double-digit deficits and twice had a chance to win the game in the waning moments. But they head home with a result they will likely rue for some time. And one that could keep them out of the playoffs in the end.

The Jets’ second and last gasp failed when quarterback Mike White was picked off inside Vikings territory with seconds to go. But the first near-miss was even more brutal: A turnover on downs from the Minnesota 1 with 1:46 to go.

The Jets trailed 17-6 at halftime. Their main issue, both in the first 30 minutes and for most of the game: They were unable to get off the field on third down. The Vikings were 6-of-7 on third down during their two touchdown drives. And the one time they failed to convert, they went for it on fourth down and moved the chains there. Minnesota was nine-of-18 on third down for the game; they scored on third down on their other touchdown drive – which gave them a 27-15 lead with 8:33 left in the game.

Then the rally began. The Jets went 75 yards on the ensuing possession to pull within 27-22 on a fourth-and-goal touchdown run by White from the 1-yard line. Minnesota then went three-and-out. The Jets’ first bid to take the lead lasted 14 plays and covered 83 yards. But they needed 84.

The Jets moved the ball throughout the game. But it took them until the fourth quarter to score a touchdown due to red zone woes. They instead had to settle for five Greg Zuerlein field goals in the interim, including a 60-yarder.

The Jets forced another Vikings three-and-out after the turnover on downs and regained possession with 1:18 left at the Minnesota 43. They got down to the 19, but no further.

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James Kratch can be reached at

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.