Breathing in a Wild Start to the Jets Season

by John Pagnotta | Sep 19, 2023 | General | 0 comments

Photo Credit: northjersey.com

It was 8:15 on Monday night. Aaron Rodgers ran out with the American flag just several minutes before the game to a huge roar from the crowd. There was a massive buzz in MetLife Stadium. Breece Hall just ran for 26 yards on his first carry after his ACL surgery. Then, Aaron Rodgers got sacked by a ferocious Buffalo Bills D-line and wasn’t able to put any weight on his leg.

Week 1
It felt like all of the energy got sucked out of MetLife. Jets fans knew that the offensive line was a weak link, but was it this weak? There were only four snaps before Rodgers tore his Achilles. FOUR. Like all Jets fans, I was completely stunned watching Aaron get carted off the field and having to watch Zach Wilson play QB in Week 1.

The Jets defense mainly kept them in the game as they were trailing 13-3 at halftime, but it wasn’t looking too good. A couple of players talked to Rodgers during halftime, including Garrett Wilson. Wilson revealed on a podcast that Rodgers told him, “Sorry, kid” when he went to check on the injured QB. In the second half, the Jets came out, made some big plays, and the crowd got back into it. The Jets capitalized on 3 turnovers from Josh Allen (2 INT, 1 fumble) and a possible catch-of-the-year from star WR Garrett Wilson to take a 16-13 lead with 1:48 to go. A terrific Bills drive and a kick that doinked in eventually led us to overtime. After the Jets made Buffalo punt on the opening drive, undrafted rookie Xavier Gipson recorded a 65 yd punt return TD that sent many fans in MetLife Stadium home happy ! This completed the comeback for the Jets and they won 22-16. On a night that we believed that Rodgers would lead the Jets to a win, it was the defense anchored by S Jordan Whitehead (3 INT), along with Xavier Gipson and Garrett Wilson (5-34-1).

Photo Credit: usatoday.com
To be honest, Zach played solid with the situation he came into. Only making 1 serious mistake (a terrible INT thrown in the 2nd quarter), his stats were: 14/21, 140 passing yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, 6 rushing yds. It definitely could’ve been worse against a very solid Bills defense. Breece Hall also looked electric, going for long gains of 26 and 83 yds, while finishing with 11 touches and 147 scrimmage yds. The offensive line started out terrible, but was better as the game went on, only giving up 2 sacks to Zach and opening up holes for the running game. The Jets defense got 5 sacks and made Josh Allen turn the ball over 5 times, making him look very frustrated at certain times. Lastly, the special teams was solid during the game and only got better with the Gipson return TD. A wild ending to a wild night.

Week 2

Right after playing the Bills, the Jets had to face a team that just beat the Giants 40-0 without their star QB. The score was basically how the game looked: 30-10 Dallas. The game wasn’t in the Jets’ control from the start and they played catch-up for the majority of it. The Cowboys scoring a TD nearly 6 minutes into the game and Zach Wilson getting lit up by superstar LB Micah Parsons set the tone for a rough afternoon. The Jets were only down 10-0 in the 2nd quarter before Zach Wilson threw a dart to Garrett Wilson for a quick 68 yd TD. On the Cowboys’ drive following the TD, Sauce Gardner dropped a would-be pick six that would’ve given the Jets a 14-10 lead. Instead, Dallas responded with a first down and a TD, going up 18-7. The Jets had a nice drive to end the half, getting a field goal and only trailing 18-10 while getting the ball.

The second half seemed like the exact opposite of the Bills game. 2 punts, a fumble by RB Dalvin Cook, and 3 INTs by Zach took away momentum of having another miraculous comeback. The offensive line had a horrendous day, as Wilson got pressured on 70% of the snaps and couldn’t do much at all. The run game was stuffed up for the most part, as the Jets only had 64 rushing yds (36 from Zach running for his life). Breece Hall only got 4 carries for 9 yds, and was unhappy after the game. Zach Wilson played half decent for 3 quarters before trying to play hero ball and throwing 3 ugly picks. Those 3 picks were the result of a terrible rushing attack by Cook, Carter, and Hall. Duane Brown has looked out of shape for the Jets in the first 2 games as he was a main reason why Parsons got through the offensive line with such ease. Also, where was the Jets defense that made Josh Allen look terrible? Lots of missed tackles, costly flags, and Dak Prescott (31/38, 255 yds, 2 TD) made the game look far worse than it was. Star WR CeeDee Lamb also tore up the secondary, going for 11 receptions and 143 yds.

Photo Credit: apnews.com
The Jets’ schedule in the next 4 games consist of the Patriots, Eagles, Broncos, and Chiefs. If they can finish 3-3 heading into Week 7 against the Giants, that would be a solid start. In his career, Zach has had huge struggles against the Patriots (0-4, 54-106, 693 yds, 2 td 7 int). Will it be a similar result on Sunday? Jets fans sure hope not.
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My name is John Pagnotta and I live in Queens, NY. I am a sophomore at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School. I am a huge fan of the Jets, Mets, Islanders, and Knicks. I started following sports when I was around 7 years old and I have not lost love for it ever since!

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