3 takeaways from the NY Jets Week 15 loss to the Detroit Lions

Craig Epstein
NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Al Bello/GettyImages
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The NY Jets dropped a tough one to the Detroit Lions 20-17 to lose their third straight and five of their last seven. Let's take a look at three takeaways from yet another Jets loss.

A tough return for Zach Wilson

While Zach Wilson’s stat line might show one thing, the game tells a different story. Despite a couple of explosive plays, Wilson still made some of the same mistakes he made pre-benching and the entire game felt like one step forward, two steps back for the Jets’ offense.

"I thought he played well," head coach Robert Saleh said. "Like I said, there's ebbs and flows of a game. There will always be things we can nitpick but he moved the ball and created explosive plays."

Whether it was Garrett Wilson finishing with four catches for 98 yards or Elijah Moore with four receptions for 51 yards, it is no longer a coincidence that Gang Green’s top receivers have had their worst statistical performances when Wilson is the quarterback.

"That's not up to me," Wilson said when asked if he played well enough to deserve another start. "For me, I think it comes back to how can I watch this film? How can I improve? Can I keep trying to put our offense in the best situation to win? I didn't do that today."

Simply put, the marriage between Wilson and the Jets feels like it is on its last legs. While he might end up being a quality QB one day, it is becoming more evident it will likely not happen anytime soon nor be with the green and white.

One too many mistakes by the NY Jets’ defense

Despite the Jets’ defense holding Detroit’s high-powered offense to just 20 points, they made a crucial mistake on fourth down with two minutes to go.

Needing a stop to seal the victory, Gang Green lost track of Brock Wright and allowed the tight end to not only gain the first down, but run 51 yards for the go-ahead score to take the lead with 1:49 left.

"It felt like we played really good the whole game," C.J. Mosley said. "It sucks really bad that one play changed the whole game, but that's just how it works. We got to execute on every play and every down."

Although the Jets boast one of the top defenses in the league, if they want to be the best unit then mistakes like this cannot happen, especially in the most crucial situation of the game.

"You can play as great as you want, but when it comes down to the fourth quarter that's when you got to be your best," Mosley continued. "It's very unfortunate that one play we weren't our best because that did determine the game even though we balled out."

Clock mismanagement from Robert Saleh

Despite everything that transpired in the first 59 minutes and 59 seconds, the Jets still had the chance to kick a game-tying field goal to send the game into overtime. However, it is hard to hold a missed 58-yarder in the wind tunnel known as MetLife Stadium against Greg Zuerlein.

Following a 22-yard pass from Zach Wilson to Garrett Wilson with 1:22 left, Saleh decided not to call a timeout despite having three in his back pocket. As a result, the Jets lost nearly 30 seconds which might have been the difference in the game.

There is reason to believe had Saleh managed the clock better, and Moore had gone down following his 20-yard grab, it would not have been such a long field goal attempt.

Next. 11 players who can be the starting QB for the NY Jets in 2023. dark

In the end, these are the little things that could be the difference between the Jets making the playoffs for the first time since 2010 or sitting at home in January once again.

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