The New York Jets are in a positive and refreshed state of mind on their trip to London, England to play the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday after winning their first game of the NFL regular season last Sunday, defeating the Tennessee Titans 27-24 in overtime at MetLife Stadium.
It was a day for the Jets. It was their rookie quarterback Zach Wilson’s first NFL win. It was also Robert Saleh’s first victory as a head coach. It was not only the team’s first successful outcome this season, it was the first time the 1-3 Jets led in any quarter of any of their games.
Although there were moments of excellent play by the Jets versus the 2-2 Titans, specifically in the second half, the first half, for the most part, was shaping up to be much like their previous three games. A Wilson interception at 12:26 of the second quarter with the Jets down 6-0 was a sign the young quarterback was not correcting his mistakes.
The Jets went into the half down 9-0 but it should have been worse. The Titans offense failed to take advantage of opportunities to put touchdowns on the board instead of field goals. The Jets’ defense was the cause of much of their problems. Led by defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, who had two sacks, and the one and a half by defensive end Bryce Huff, the Jets totaled seven on the day on Titans QB Ryan Tannehill. As usual, Tennessee’s offense was powered by running back Derrick Henry, last season’s NFL rushing leader, who had 157 yards on 33 carries against an aggressive Jets front seven.
A rushing touchdown at the 4:49 mark of the second quarter by Jets rookie running back Michael Carter from the 2-yard line gave the Jets their first score of the game and the score was 9-7 Titans at the half. The second half and overtime was the Jets’ best stretch of play this season. They outscored the Titans 20-15, capping it off with a 22-yard field goal in the OT period by Matt Ammendola and a 49-yard miss by Titans kicker Randy Bullock that ended the game.
Wilson showed future franchise quarterback potential going 21-34 for 297 yards. In the post game press conference Saleh asked Wilson, “You having fun yet?” The BYU product smiled and replied “I am.” He added, “It’s an interesting fun, though. It was a roller-coaster game.”
Jets wide receiver Corey Davis also had fun, catching four passes for 111 yards and a touchdown against his former team. Davis spent four years with the Titans before signing a three-year, $37.5 deal with the Jets last March.
“Feels great,” said Davis. “I was quiet this week. I didn’t want to make it any bigger than what it is because, honestly, it was the next game. It’s one that we needed regardless if I was there previously or not. It definitely feels good to beat your old team, and it’s on to the next now.”