Zach Wilson and the NY Jets stunned NFL world, but not themselves

NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets limped into their Week 9 meeting with the Buffalo Bills fresh off a disappointing loss to the New England Patriots a week ago. They were 12.5-point home underdogs, and it was hard to disagree with that notion.

Zach Wilson had struggled mightily over the last two weeks and the Jets offense looked broken. They were facing a powerhouse Bills team that had shown no signs of slipping up this season.

But the Jets kept those receipts. They took note of their doubters. They showed up to MetLife Stadium and played perhaps their most complete game of the season.

Wilson rebounded with his best performance of the year while the defense limited Josh Allen more than any team has this season. The Jets won. They beat the Bills by a final score of 20-17.

The NFL world was stunned, but for the Jets, this was just another Sunday. There was never a doubt.

"I know a lot of people are gonna be surprised. I don't think there's a person surprised in the locker room."

Robert Saleh

The NY Jets shocked the NFL world but not themselves

That's been the secret to this Jets team's success in 2022. Other NFL teams don't believe in them. Vegas doesn't believe in them. Fans and media certainly don't believe in them. But they believe in them.

The Jets play every game with a chip on their shoulder. They see the headlines. They read the tweets and the press clippings. They know that no one gave them a chance to win this week, but it didn't faze them.

If anything, it fueled them.

Zach Wilson's bounce-back performance was the impetus behind the Jets' offensive resurgence, but the performance of an injury-riddled offensive line, the likes of Garrett Wilson and Denzel Mims, running backs Michael Carter and James Robinson, and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur can't be overlooked.

The Jets may not have lit the scoreboard up, but they played safe, complementary offensive football against a stout Bills defense. The Jets don't win this game without Zach Wilson and other key offensive playmakers.

On defense, the Jets proved that they can play at an elite level against arguably the NFL's best offense. Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed are the best cornerback duo in the NFL. Players like Bryce Huff, Jermaine Johnson, and Quinnen Williams made crucial defensive stands.

The Jets might very well have the best defense in the NFL. After sacking Josh Allen five times are forcing two (nearly three) interceptions, it's hard to disagree.

This Jets team is for real. They're not perfect and their inconsistencies on offense could catch up to them, but they're a playoff-caliber team. And they just beat arguably the best team in the NFL.

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The Bills might have been surprised. The NFL world certainly was. But the Jets expected this. Winning is normal to them now — and it's because they believe.