The New York Jets were on a three-game losing streak heading into today’s game against the Houston Texans. To make matters worse, two of their four quarterbacks on the roster – Joe Flacco and Mike White – were placed on the COVID reserve list. This meant after four games of missing time, Zach Wilson would get the start at quarterback for the Jets. It was ugly at times for both teams, but the Jets snapped their losing streak with a 21-14 win in Houston. Let’s go over the keys to the win for the Jets in NFL Week 12.
Zach Grows Up?
It’s no secret that the New York Jets have gotten off to slow starts with Wilson in the lineup, even into NFL Week 12. Wilson was sacked twice and threw his tenth interception of the season in two of the first three possessions. The rookie continued to look rattled over his next two series as the Jets went three-and-out on consecutive drives. But Wilson seemed to put things together toward the end of the first half, orchestrating a 10-play, 70-yard drive which ended in a touchdown. Wilson went 5-of-7 for 33 yards on the drive, capped off by Austin Walter’s first NFL touchdown. The Jets’ offensive game plan continued in the third quarter with an 11-play, 75-yard drive with Wilson scoring his first NFL touchdown run.
It looked as if Wilson’s day might have been over early in the fourth quarter. After running out of bounds to avoid a sack, the rookie favored his previously injured right knee as he jogged to the sideline. After Ka’imi Fairbairn missed a field goal that would have brought the Texans within one, Wilson came back into the game. The rookie showed a glimpse of toughness, leading the Jets on a 13-play drive to bleed the clock. This included a fourth down conversion on a jet sweep by wide receiver Elijah Moore that kept the drive alive. Wilson finished 14-of-24 for 145 yards along with two rushes for three yards and a touchdown. Did Wilson learn how to play “boring” football during his time away? Perhaps Jets fans are seeing the young quarterback grow up during this game. Granted, he still has a long, long way to go.
The Defense Doesn’t Rest
Following an improved effort against Miami last week, how would the New York Jets defense do against Houston in NFL Week 12? John Franklin-Myers – who was on a milk carton after receiving his contract extension – stopped the Texans’ first drive with an interception which he took into Houston territory. The turnover lead to a field goal. The momentum on defense seemed to have halted when the Jets allowed touchdowns on two of the next three Texan possessions as Houston took a 14-3 lead. Those would be the last points the Texans would score for the rest of the afternoon. The next seven possessions were as follows: punt, punt (which was partially blocked by Kenny Yeboah), punt, punt, missed field goal, turnover on downs, end of game.
Which New York Jets stood out on defense in NFL Week 12? Looking at the stats, just about everyone. To add to his interception, Franklin-Myers had two sacks and three tackles. The Brothers Williams – Quinnen and Quincy – each had a sack and Quincy Williams had seven total tackles. Cornerback Bryce Hall had three tackles, one for a loss, and broke up Tyrod Taylor’s pass intended for Nico Collins on 4th down with 2:10 remaining to effectively seal the game.
The New York Jets return home to face the Philadelphia Eagles in NFL Week 13. The Eagles are the only team that the Jets have never defeated in the regular season. Preview coming later this week.