NY Jets tight end C.J. Uzomah bellowed an impassioned speech to his fellow teammates before Sunday's Week 5 game against the Denver Broncos. The message was clear. Win this one for Nathaniel Hackett.
The Jets offensive coordinator was the subject of significant criticism from Broncos head coach Sean Payton this summer. This game was about Hackett and the Jets exacting revenge for Payton's wrongs.
It was about Breece Hall returning to the place of his season-ending injury from a week ago. It was about revenge and retribution. The Jets got what they were looking for.
A dominant second-half performance willed the Jets to a 31-21 win over their newfound rivals. Zach Wilson put together a second consecutive encouraging performance. Hall was outstanding. The defense came through when it mattered.
It wasn't always pretty, but the Jets managed to get the job done on the road in a hostile Denver environment. They won it for Hackett.
Nathaniel Hackett and the NY Jets exacted revenge on Sean Payton
Payton was seen chewing out his quarterback, Russell Wilson, following a game-sealing fumble forced by linebacker Quincy Williams. A Bryce Hall scoop-and-score was the icing on the cake.
It's not hyperbolic to say that this was a must-win game for the Jets. Entering with a 1-3 record, the Jets couldn't afford to lose to a lackluster Broncos team, with the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles on tap for next week.
They needed a win, and they got one. Hackett pressed all the right buttons in the second half, sparking a very promising performance from a Jets' offense that was dealing with a number of injuries.
Aside from a late interception, Zach Wilson was calm and composed under pressure. The offensive line opened up holes for Hall in the second half, leading to a 177-yard day from the Jets' running back.
Emotions were running high, and the Jets came through with a massive victory. Nathaniel Hackett and this team should be proud. As for Sean Payton, it's back to the drawing board.