Wayne Chrebet is all-in on the New York Jets’ future with Zach Wilson, admires Braxton Berrios’ play, and has a few choice thoughts about Antonio Brown’s antics.
Wayne Chrebet was in attendance for the New York Jets‘ most recent get-together with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, albeit in a mere spectator capacity. That’s probably a shame, as Chrebet is a noted specialist in close games against Tampa.
Alas for New York, they couldn’t stop a Tom Brady-induced destiny, which saw the arguable “GOAT”‘s Buccaneers erase a two-touchdown deficit en route to a 28-24 victory on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
The Jets (4-12) are well used to Brady’s antics, as Sunday marked his 30th career win over Gang Green, a majority gained during his lauded time with the New England Patriots.
In what could well go down as his final pass in East Rutherford, the 44-year-old Brady found Cyril Grayson for the game-winning 33-yard score with 15 seconds to go, the last stanza of a 93-yard drive that needed only nine plays and 1:57 of game time to complete.
Chrebet’s retirement after the 2005 season spared him from the more brutal years of Brady’s New York carnage. Yet, he was experienced enough to know that a 93-yard obstacle and a dwindling clock would be no obstacle for the six-time Super Bowl champion.
“I’m watching the drive. The clock’s ticking, they’ve got no timeouts … (but) just look at the guy. There’s no stress there’s no emergency … This guy looks cool as a cucumber, and I’m watching him, and just like he’s done this a million times,” Chrebet told Jets X-Factor founder and editor Robby Sabo in the pair’s latest edition of The Underdog Jets Podcast.
“He threw a touchdown,” Chrebet added. “I wasn’t shocked (but) I was praying (the Jets would) win and hold on for another 15 seconds but this is something he’s done his whole career. It’s amazing to watch as a football fan, but as a Jet fan, it’s freaking terrible to watch. It’s tough. Give that guy too much time and that’s what’s going to happen.”
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Despite playing witness to yet another Brady comeback, Chrebet was inspired by the way the Jets came out against the defending Super Bowl champions.
Lost in the chaos of Tampa-induced chaos was another strong game for quarterback Zach Wilson (234 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions) and Braxton Berrios (77 yards on 10 touches, all but one of which went for a first down or touchdown).
Wilson’s November return from a sprained PCL injury has given way to some positive vibes at the Jets wrap up yet another season outside of the playoff picture. Sunday, for example, marked his fourth consecutive game without throwing an interception.
Chrebet, however, was slightly disappointed in Wilson’s showing against Tampa Bay for a very solid reason: He was unable to cash on a prop bet that claimed the rookie quarterback would put up over 18 yards on the ground, as the prior week’s 91-yard output against Jacksonville was the most-prolific rushing day for a Jets quarterback in team history.
Nonetheless, he was pleased with how poised Wilson appeared in a pocket that was missing the protection of standout blocker George Fant, namely calling out a play where Wilson was able to find Keelan Cole one yard short of the goal-line in the third quarter. Two plays later, Ty Johnson punched in the score to give the Jets the doomed 24-10 lead.
Chrebet referred to the Cole-induced set-up as Brady-esque.
“It looked like something that Brady was doing. He just found a tight hole and threaded through there,” Chrebet said. “It’s a shame that the season’s coming to an end because I like to see how He’d continue to grow with the offense. But there’s certainly a lot of cause for optimism going into next season.”
Praise for Berrios, who has followed in Chrebet’s underdog footsteps, has become a universal mainstay of weekly Jet recaps, as the receiver has transformed himself into the Jets’ most viable offensive weapon. The former Patriot further amplified fans’ calls to bestow him a new contract through his first multi-touchdown game on Sunday, running in the Jets’ first score on a one-yard double-reverse before catching a nine-yard pass from Wilson.
It’s enough to add Chrebet to the list of those calling for Berrios to receive a long-term contract.
“He made some great plays. He’s making something out of nothing sometimes,” Chrebet said of Berrios. “I complained last week about my pet peeve, about people coming up short on first down conversions, and he’s got a knack for being across that line and getting the first down. I think Zack believes in him a lot in that rapport they have right now. I think they’re the best connection there is.”
Chrebet reserved some tough for Tampa receiver Antonio Brown, who overshadowed any outcome Sunday had to offer with his shirtless mid-game exit during third-quarter action. It’s the latest controversy for the polarizing receiver, who recently served a three-game suspension for falsifying his COVID-19 vaccination status. Chrebet acknowledged that Brown may be going through private issues but didn’t mince words in calling his Sunday display inexcusable.
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“For that guy, it’s all about ‘me, look at me’ … it’s all about ‘look at me’ with that guy,” Chrebet said. “People would kill to be in his situation, not even as good as him, just to be in the league, and that guy just throws it away. I understand that people have issues that we don’t know about, personal issues, private life issues. But he’s got teammates. Tom Brady comes through as a defense saying we care about him, we love him, we want him to be able to deal with things.”
But he just threw it all away, man, for no reason. Just stay on the sideline for another, what, 10 minutes? No reason to go out there and be destructive to the team and all that stuff. … I don’t like players like that and I think I’m right for saying that. I’m sure a lot of people agree with me. As I said, I don’t know what’s going on with his private life. But it was a spectacle that didn’t need to happen, to take away from his team’s win. I think they’re going to be better off without him.”
The Jets will end their 2021-22 season on Sunday late afternoon against the Buffalo Bills (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags