For 59-plus minutes, the New York Jets(6-4) kept the New England Patriots(6-4) out of the end zone, but they could not keep them out of the end zone for the entire 60 minutes as the Patriots’ Marcus Jones returned a punt 84 yards with five seconds left to give New England a 10-3 win over the Jets at Gillette Stadium.
Jones’ touchdown was the first punt return for a touchdown this season.
“Yeah, it’s a crappy way to lose,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said. “You feel like you’re exchanging blows from a defensive standpoint from both teams, and somebody could just make a play and get it to overtime. They made a play, and we didn’t.”
Jets corner D.j. Reed added: “I’m still in disbelief. Marcus Jones, I know him from college; he went to Houston. Hell of a punt returner, and they gave him a chance. He is a great punt returner, and he got his touchdown. Credit to them for doing that. I’m in disbelief; it’s a tough loss.”
The Jets held the Patriots’ offense to three points and sacked Mac Jones six times. However, New York’s offense was nonexistent, especially in the second half, as they had only two yards of total offense. New York finished the game with 103 total yards. Zach Wilson completed 9 of 22 passes for 77 yards, and New York, in that dreaded second half, had -21 passing yards.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh had a few choice words to describe the team’s offensive performance in the second half:
“It was dog sh*t,” he said.
Like many on the team, Wilson was disappointed by the team’s performance on offense.
“Yeah, it’s super frustrating,” Wilson said. “It was a frustrating day, of course. I feel like I had some balls that got away from me. But we got to find ways on offense. We got to do some digging, watch the film, and see what we can do better.”
Jets rookie wideout Garrett Wilson, who had two catches for 12, did not mince words when talking about the offense.
This s–t’s sorry,” Wilson told reporters. “We’re out here looking sorry, man. We know that we’re not sorry. So that’s why it really hurts. We know that we’re better than that. We can do more.”
Despite the poor effort, Saleh said he had no intentions of bringing in backup quarterback Mike White and is still sticking with Wilson.
“I’ve told you guys before, Zach’s our quarterback, and we’re going to, we’ve got to find ways to help him get better,” Saleh said.
The Jets have not beaten the Patriots since 2010, and this game had playoff implications as New York was swept by the Pats this season. Fortunately for the Jets, seven games are still left, but Wilson and the offense have to be better.