Mike White’s second start didn’t go as smoothly as his first, but it certainly was dramatic, as the Jets battled back from a 17-point first half deficit and came within a yard of taking the lead with less than two minutes to go.
White ended up with 369 passing yards but was intercepted at the goal line with 10 seconds left and the Vikings held on for the win.
The Jets entered Minnesota with plenty of confidence, but their defense allowed the Vikings to convert on seven of their first ten third downs to build a 20-3 first half lead.
The Vikings haven’t had an easy win all season though, and this would be no different, as the Jets made things interesting by pulling within five in the fourth quarter.
With under two minutes and a chance to win, the Jets drove down to the 1-yard line but failed to punch it in, although their defense forced a punt to give them another chance. They got back into the red zone, but White was intercepted for the second time on fourth-and-10 from the 17-yard line.
Here are the key takeaways…
- Coming off a one-catch game in his return from injury, Corey Davis got off to a rocky start with a holding penalty and then a pass which caromed off his hands for an interception on the first series. However, he bounced back with a first down catch on the first play of the Jets’ next drive and a leaping grab over the middle a few plays later. Davis ended up with 85 yards on five catches.
- The Jets defense looked sharp on the Vikings’ first possession, as they forced Minnesota to go three and out and settle for a field goal following White’s interception. Quinnen Williams was immediately proving to be a handful for the Vikings offensive line.
The Jets then put together a drive to tie the score at 3-3 at the end of the first quarter.
The defense played well in the first quarter, holding Cousins to just three completions for 17 yards on 10 attempts. However, penalties were an issue on the 14-play drive that saw Dalvin Cook give them a 10-3 lead with a short touchdown run in the second quarter. DJ Reed, Sauce Gardner and Jordan Whitehead were all flagged for defensive penalties on the drive.
- With all of the focus all week on stopping Justin Jefferson, the Jets held him to 45 yards. However, the Jets’ usually solid run defense let them down as they gave up 95 yards and two scores in the first half with Alexander Mattison’s touchdown run increasing the lead to 14.
- The Jets perhaps showed too much faith in White when they went for it on fourth down near midfield just before halftime. Once again, the defense was able to hold the Vikings to a field goal after the turnover on downs though.
- Greg Zuerlein continues to be a reliable kicker for the Jets, who will be hoping to bring him back next season. Zuerlein impressively nailed a franchise record 60-yard field goal just before halftime to reduce the deficit to 20-6 at the break and made all five of his field goals on the day.
- The game was reminiscent of the Bengals game earlier in the year where the Jets had to keep settling for field goals and failed to score a touchdown to ultimately lose 27-12. Once again, the Jets were forced to settle for field goals on both their scoring drives in the second quarter, keeping the Vikings ahead 20-12 after three. One of these drives stalled after a costly penalty on the returning George Fant on first down at the 6-yard line.
- The Jets pulled within five on their next drive as the drive once again stalled in the red zone following Garrett Wilson’s 60-yard catch and run. The rookie had another huge game with 162 yards on eight catches.
Unfortunately, the defense -- having only given up 10 yards in the entire third quarter -- gave up a 75-yard touchdown drive with Jefferson’s third down score against Reed increasing the Vikings’ lead back out to 27-15 with 8:33 to go.
- On the next drive, a Zonovan Knight 48-yard burst and a pass interference penalty quickly got the Jets back in position to score. This time, they did get a touchdown, albeit only after the replay booth overturned the original call that White’s quarterback sneak was stopped short.
- They had two chances to take the lead after that, but they were denied on the first as Knight was stopped twice at the goal line and White threw incomplete on third and fourth down. The next drive got as far as the red zone with White throwing three incompletions and then an interception on fourth down as the Vikings clung on to win.
The Jets will have a tough task next week as they travel to Buffalo to take on Josh Allen and the Bills on Sunday at 1 p.m.