Xavier Gipson, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills
Xavier Gipson, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Getty Images

The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills put forth an early candidate for game of the year on Monday at MetLife

The New York Jets lost Aaron Rodgers for the season but won their Week 1 showdown against the Buffalo Bills.

An incredible defensive effort, one that featured three interceptions from Jordan Whitehead, allowed the Jets to escape from MetLife Stadium with an opening victory, topping the division rival Bills 23-16 in this year’s season premiere of Monday Night Football.

Garrett Wilson and Xavier Gipson provided the victorious points: the former’s improbably juggling grab created a 13-all tie in the fourth quarter while the undrafted rookie Gipson closed things out with a 65-yard run to glory on a punt return in the early stages of the extra session.

Several big names stood up for the Jets after Rodgers’ medically-induced departure, none bigger than those on the defense. Whitehead, who entered this season with seven interceptions earned over his five NFL seasons, had three alone on Monday.

But whether the Jets won or lost on Monday, the headlining play came in the first quarter, one where Rodgers was forced to leave the game due to an injury sustained when he was sacked by Buffalo newcomer Leonard Floyd. Rodgers was immediately taken to the covered medical tent and was escorted to the Jets’ locker room for observation on a medical cart.

After the game, Robert Saleh told the media that the team fears an Achilles rupture. An MRI is scheduled for Monday to confirm the diagnosis.

The Jets, however, remained in the game by tying things up with a Greg Zuerlein field goal before the cursed half let out, one set up by an 83-yard rushing tally for Breece Hall. A 10-point halftime deficit awaited them, however, as Allen found Stefon Diggs for a five-yard score.

The latter score to create the lead, a 34-yard field goal for Tyler Bass, was set up via a Wilson interception to Matt Milano, though the latter was charged 15 yards for celebrating his takeaway in Wilson’s face.

The Jets will hit the road for the first time this season on Sunday, serving as the opponent for the Dallas Cowboys’ home opener in Arlington (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email: geoffmags90@gmail.com
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12 days ago

Great win and show of fortitude knowing you lost your QB. JD has to go find someone to replace Rodgers. He’s already make a huge mistake with rolling the dice with Zach, who is not an NFL QB, as his backup. This roster is as good as anyones in the NFL but they will not be able to overcome Zach’s poor play. Just can’t watch another year of him but Dallas with their defense may make that decision moot. JD has to act right now and have a guy on the roster by mid week, Heineke, Winston, we all know the names.