At the beginning of this season, the Thursday night time recreation was straightforward to overlook.
However each the New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars performed properly sufficient to be on the verge of being named to the AFC Wild Card. Getting into week 16, the Jaguars had been selecting up steam. The Jets stumbled.
Traits continued in the identical style on the wet and windy MetLife Stadium because the Jaguars defeated the Jets 19-3 to tackle the Tennessee Titans within the AFC South semigame.
For the Jets, it was their fifth loss in six video games and have become emblematic of their spiral. Quarterback Zach Wilson was again on the bench within the third quarter rather than the little-known Chris Strevler.
Listed below are the winners and losers within the penultimate recreation of the Thursday Night time Soccer season.
Observe each recreation: Newest NFL Scores & Schedule
Who’s Chris Straveler?:Meet QB, who changed Zach Wilson after his second 12 months on the Jets’ bench.
Picture of the NFL playoffs forward of Week 16:Bengals advance to playoffs because of Jaguars win over Jets
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For 5 seasons, Engram referred to as MetLife his residence. As a member of the New York Giants, he was booed a number of instances within the stadium.
This time the whistle was not for him.
Engram caught seven passes on eight targets for 113 receiving yards, usually demonstrating his skill to realize yards after a catch.
The previous first-round choose, who signed a one-year contract with Jacksonville this offseason, had 11 photographs, 162 yards and two touchdowns two weekends in the past towards the Titans. Final Sunday, in a win over the Cowboys, he had 62 yards on eight catches.
Lawrence continues to evolve into the doubtless franchise-changing quarterback the Jaguars hoped for once they took him with the No. 1 choose within the 2021 draft. He was 20 of 31 for 229 yards within the air. However Lawrence was much more spectacular on the bottom, throwing seven rushes for 51 yards (7.3 yards per carry).
Within the second quarter, he scored the one landing of the quarterback-sneaking recreation, working the ball over the purpose line simply after the snap.
The Jaguars have had dropping seasons in 10 of the final 11 years. They do not have .500 but, however they’ve gained three of their final 4 and appear to be getting higher each week.
Pederson’s easy play within the first quarter, permitting Angram to lose to counter the Jets’ blitz, allowed them to attain the primary rating of the sport, a 32-yard area purpose by Riley Patterson. On a landing, the Jaguars went 96 yards in 16 performs. The sequence took 8 minutes and 15 seconds of taking part in time, and Jacksonville had eight first downs—and no third down till Lawrence hit a landing.
Pederson’s quarterback is taking part in nearly as good as he appeared within the NFL, and his staff believes in themselves.
There weren’t many highlights for the Jets on this matchup, however Williams put the Jets within the driver’s seat within the third play of the sport. It additionally confirmed why he is without doubt one of the most underrated but dominant defensive gamers within the league.
The within linebacker bulldozed lineman Tyler Shutley and fired Lawrence, who fumbled. Carl Lawson recovered and led the Jets to first place on the Jaguars’ 16-yard line. This led New York to the one purpose of the sport, a 37-yard area purpose by Greg Zuerlein.
Patterson might have overwhelmed the Jets on his personal. He was 4 for five on area objectives in a recreation that did not have the very best kicking climate. His miss got here from 44 yards shortly earlier than the break.
The Jets staged a string of video games that includes Strevler this week to focus on the working recreation and counter probably nasty climate. Streleler confirmed up early with about 5 minutes left within the first quarter, however the recreation was dominated out by a false begin.
With 3:31 left within the third quarter, Straveler changed Wilson for the rest of the sport. He performed along with his ft (9 rushes for 54 yards) and went 10 of 15 passing for 90 yards.
Straveler’s efficiency highlighted the truth that the Jets offense seems extra competent with anybody aside from Wilson at quarterback. The quantity two general, drafted a 12 months in the past, is now benched a second time, on this case by a unique quarterback, and Mike White, the unique reserve, was sidelined for the second straight recreation with a rib damage.
Wilson went 9 of 18 for 92 yards with a protracted cross interception as the primary half ended.
When requested why the offense works with any quarterback aside from Wilson, Jets head coach Robert Saleh stated, “I haven’t got that reply proper now.”
This fanbase hasn’t had a single post-season recreation to cheer for in 11 seasons. It seems like this sequence will attain 12.
Followers who endured the typically harsh circumstances expressed their dissatisfaction a number of instances all through the competitors. The boos and chants of Joe Flacco or Straveler had been clearly audible on Prime Video.
“I do not blame them. We now have a really passionate fan base,” Wilson stated after the sport. – They’re right here to observe us rating touchdowns. And we do not depend touchdowns. We won’t have the primary falls. We do not transfer the ball.”
It seems like one other lengthy low season awaits the Jets and their followers after Thursday.
The Jets had been ineffective on the bottom, aside from a number of lates by Straveler when the sport appeared out of attain. A number of weeks in the past, Knight appeared like a possible breakout star. On Thursday, he solely had six photographs for -2 yards.
What was an elite unit this season appeared mediocre at finest towards the Jaguars. They gave up 365 yards, compelled two punts, and allowed Jacksonville to attain seven of 16 third down makes an attempt.
The Titans now formally have the Jaguars respiratory down their necks within the AFC South standings. At 7-7, the Titans have to win Saturday at residence towards the lowly Houston Texans to remain on the high of the division. This divisional race seems set to return right down to a tag staff matchup in Week 18, and Jacksonville presently has a private benefit with their Week 14 victory.
Observe Chris Bumbaki on Twitter @BOOMbaka.