A football season is never totally defined by early losses, but what a team does after their first win will generally indicate what direction that team is heading. For the New York Jets, starting the season 0-3 (again) seemed to be deja vu all over again. . . and again.
NFL seasons aren’t usually defined by starting out 0-3 but how a team responds for the remaining 14 games.
This past Sunday, a bit of franchise history was made.
The Jets overtime victory over the Tennessee Titans gave not only new head coach Robert Saleh his first victory, but rookie QB Zach Wilson got a taste of winning for the first time as well in the NFL.
Sunday’s victory was a team effort on both sides of the ball and a solid win against a good Titans team (who still lead in the AFC South.) Remember, just as losing can become a habit, so can winning, and this Jets first victory, while not setting them on course to the Super Bowl just yet, is a start – a really good start.
Zach Wilson finally showed us a bit of why he was a first-round draft pick, and after four games, those flashes came none too soon. Wilson put together four 70 yard drives that culminated in four TDs, including the Jets’ first 1st half TD of the season. Wilson finished up with a respectable 21/34 completions for 297 yards and two TD passes, but most importantly, he went 10/15 in the second half with zero sacks and zero interceptions – keys to finishing out a game the right way.
Defensively, while the Jets weren’t perfect, there were some stellar performances, primarily in the LB corps. C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams combined for 25 tackles (Mosely had 13 of them) and accounted for two of the seven Jets sacks against Ryan Tannehill. Five of those sacks against Tannehill came on 3rd down, which forced the Titans to punt on those series. The Jets’ defense still gave up 430 total yards to the Titans, including 157 rushing yards to Derrick Henry, and the Jets still won – a testament to the grit of holding on to this game that could have easily been added to the L column in the league standings.
I’m sure that Robert Saleh quietly celebrated in the back of his mind and allowed a glimpse of excitement and relief in the locker room. The first win for any team or coach is big and should be celebrated -for a moment or two, and then it’s back to work.
The Jets have to travel to London this week and play in the early Sunday morning game against the Atlanta Falcons who are coming off a heartbreaking loss to Washington and no doubt looking for some redemption on an international stage.
A win is big for this young Jets team; another win this coming Sunday and then a bye week would allow a bit of momentum in preparation for meeting the New England Patriots and rookie QB Mac Jones in three weeks.
Featured Image: New York Jets