Grading the Jets’ 27-22 loss to the Vikings on Sunday:
The Jets rolled up 486 yards but only scored one touchdown. They went 1-for-6 in the red zone and 3-for-16 on third down and that is what drags this grade down. QB Mike White (31 of 57, 369 yards, 2 INT, 59.8 QB rating, 1 rushing TD) did not play his best but also had the Jets on the doorstep of taking the lead twice in the fourth quarter. RB Zonovan Knight (15 rushes, 90 yards) impressed in his first career start. WR Garrett Wilson (8 catches, 162 yards) made huge plays and has injected himself into the Offensive Rookie of the Year conversation.
The defense gave up 20 points in the first half but then just a touchdown in the second. Cornerbacks D.J. Reed and Sauce Gardner played well against Vikings star Justin Jefferson (7 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD), but Jefferson got the best of Reed for the game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter. QB Kirk Cousins (21 of 35, 173 yards, 1 TD, 82.2 rating) did not have a great game but made a few critical plays. DL Quinnen Williams and Carl Lawson each came up with a third-down sack in the second half.
Remember when the Jets couldn’t find a kicker? Greg Zuerlein has ended that problem. Zuerlein made five field goals Sunday and kept the Jets in the game. He booted a 60-yarder at the end of the first half, setting a new Jets record for longest field goal. Punt returner Braxton Berrios had a few solid returns, including a 15-yarder.
You have to give Robert Saleh this — his team does not roll over. It felt like the Jets were dead when it was 20-3, but they kept playing and made adjustments in the second half that pulled them back into the game. Saleh also made some tough fourth-down decisions that worked and won a challenge that resulted in a touchdown. Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur was too pass-happy in the first half. He showed some creativity in the run game in the second half, but he must answer for the struggles in the red zone. Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich had a solid plan against Jefferson and the Jets looked like a different team in the second half defensively.
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