It’s still too early to make a strong case for the Jets being a playoff team. But they are moving in the right direction. Trending up as they ride a three-game winning streak into Denver to face the Broncos this Sunday.
Going into Week 7, the Jets, who haven’t been Super Bowl champions since 1969, have already won the same amount of games, four, that they did all of last season. They improved to 4-2 with a 27-10 road win last Sunday over the 3-3 Green Bay Packers and the NFL’s reigning MVP, quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Jets are off to their best start since going 4-2 in 2015 under former head coach Todd Bowles, who is now the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and general manager Mike Maccagnan. Second-year head coach Robert Saleh and current GM Joe Douglas have the Jets sitting right behind the 5-1 Buffalo Bills in the AFC East race. The Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots are both 3-3.
The Jets’ and Packers’ offense struggled to score points for the first two quarters and went into halftime tied at 3-3. Jets quarterback Zach Wilson one day hopes to match the success of his boyhood idol Rodgers but didn’t resemble the future Hall of Famer in passing for just 28 yards in the first half.
“As long as I can remember playing football, I was a big fan,” said the 23-year-old Wilson. “I wouldn’t say I was a Packers fan, but I was just an Aaron Rodgers fan. I grew up watching him.”
Wilson got to watch Rodgers from the sidelines under attack from Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, who consistently put pressure on the 38-year veteran. Williams had five tackles, two for losses, two sacks, three quarterback hits and a forced fumble.
“He’s playing at a different level,” said Saleh of the 24-year-old Williams, who the Jets drafted with the third overall pick in 2019. “Obviously, we’re only six games in, so he’s got to continue. We’ve got 11 more left. But [if] he keeps doing this, there’s no reason he shouldn’t make the Pro Bowl, be All-Pro and earn all the accolades he can get.”
Williams said his performance is part of a collective team effort. “It was coming in and doing our job, playing football on Sunday as a unit.” The Jets’ defense held Rodgers to just one touchdown and sacked him a total of four times.
“As a team,” added Williams, “the biggest thing for us is execution and communication week in and week out. We know our downfall is when we don’t communicate, but when we do, 100%, all 11 on the field, we’re a great defense.”
Wilson didn’t need to put up big numbers guiding the offense. He finished only 10-18 for 110 yards and no touchdowns. The offense was carried again by the running game led by sensational rookie Breece Hall. He had 116 of the Jets’ 179 yards on the ground.
“I feel like a lot of people expected that it would be a surprise if we won this game,” said Hall, “but we expected to come in and win this game.”