Barring something unforeseen, Zach Wilson is not the guy. And if the Jets are being honest, Mike White likely is not either. Which makes all of this even more painful.
The Jets’ playoff push is on life support. Sunday’s devastating 20-17 loss to the Lions — Greg Zuerlein missed a game-tying field goal attempt well to the left from 58 yards out as time expired — was a back-breaker. The Jets (7-7) have now lost three straight winnable contests. And depending on results in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, they may end the day virtually two games out of the AFC playoff picture due to the Patriots’ all-important tiebreaker advantage.
It felt like the Jets could steal this one. They began the game with a goal line stand, shook off an inexcusable special teams breakdown — Kalif Raymond’s 47-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter — and took their first lead with 4:41 to go on Wilson’s 1-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Uzomah.
But Detroit (7-7) hit a home run on a 51-yard touchdown pass by Jared Goff to Brock Wright with 1:59 to go. The Jets then drove down (with some poor clock management by Robert Saleh mixed in) and got into field goal range thanks to a nifty scramble by Wilson and catch by Garrett Wilson with a second left. But the kick missed. And that was that.
The Chargers (7-6) currently hold the final AFC wild card spot. The Patriots (7-6) are eighth, with the Jets ninth. The Chargers play the Titans Sunday while the Patriots are at the Raiders. The Jets will need to help themselves, and get help, to have a chance to break their 12-year postseason drought — currently the NFL’s longest. Starting with a brutal short week and a date with the red-hot Jaguars on Thursday night.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]