The Jets are in the midst of a way-too-rough-stuff type of deal in Minnesota
Behind rushing touchdowns from Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, the Minnesota Vikings own a 20-6 halftime lead over the New York Jets. Gang Green’s sustenance has come from a pair of Greg Zuerlein field goals, the latter coming from 60 yards away at the end of the first half-hour. The Jets have not had this big a halftime deficit since they trailed the Cincinnati Bengals, 20-9, back in Week 3.
- PASSING: Mike White (14-of-26, 121 yards, 1 INT)
- RUSHING: Zonovan Knight (6 carries, 21 yards)
- RECEIVING: Garrett Wilson (3 rec., 43 yards)
- PASSING: Kirk Cousins (14-of-20, 104 yards)
- RUSHING: Dalvin Cook (10 carries, 56 yards, 1 TD)
- RECEIVING: Jalen Reagor (6 rec., 35 yards)
Yes, America, Mike White is human. He threw an interception that wasn’t his fault, but the Vikings’ pass rush (ranked ninth in pressure rate at 24.7 percent) is getting to him in the early going.
Of course, it’s far from a performance that will make fans beg for Zach Wilson‘s return (no way that the Jets would’ve gone for it on fourth down at the end of the half if Wilson was under center), as he’s still getting the Jets’ top offensive talents involved in the box score and moving the ball better than Wilson has so far. But it’ll be interesting to see how Florham Park’s sweetheart responds to some rare adversity.
Bold Man, Look At My Eyes
As another famous young New Yorker was told, with great power goes great responsibility. If the Jets want to secure a playoff spot, it’s going to require some boldness and going for it on a short fourth down near midfield at the end of the half is certainly one way to make an impression. It’s also a sign of just how much they trust both White and their defense, both of whom have catapulted them into those playoff charts (Division Leaders/Wild Card/In the Hunt) that networks treat as gridiron Advent calendars.
If the Jets are going to pull off an upset, they’ll need to continue two things that worked for them defensively in the first half: up the pressure on Cousins (who has been forced to turn to the Cool/Mattison tandem thanks to a relentless pass rush that has dealt several big hits and Gardner has kept Jefferson from making big plays (35 yards on six receptions). Teams continue to test Sauce Gardner for whatever reason and the rookie continues to accept and succeed at almost every challenge.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags