Last season, the Jets defeated the Jaguars in round one of Trevor Lawrence vs. Zach Wilson.
Thursday was the second meeting between the first two quarterbacks selected in the 2021 draught, and Lawrence won in primetime this time.
The Jaguars (7-8) defeated the Jets (7-8) 19-3 on Thursday Night Football, reducing Gang Green’s chances of making the playoffs for the first time since 2010. The Jets have lost four straight games and five of their last six.
Throughout the first half, fans booed Wilson. At halftime, Gang Green had only 66 yards, while Jacksonville had 251 yards.
Wilson had a terrible night, going 9-of-18 for 92 yards, an interception, and a 41.9 quarterback rating. The Jets took the field to start the second half, and the angry chants continued. When Gang Green went three and out to begin the third quarter, fans began yelling, “We want Streveler!”
Wilson made his second straight start after being benched for Mike White last month. Wilson took over as starter after White suffered rib injuries against Buffalo on December 11 and has yet to be cleared for contact.
“I’ve got to put my head down and just get better for these guys,” Wilson said. “That was kind of my message to them, just trying to give them everything I had.”
Wilson was benched in the third quarter for Chris Streveler, who was promoted from the practise squad for this game.
“We were trying to change things up to get the run game going,” Jets coach Robert Saleh explained. “I know Zach was struggling, but Streveler came in, ran a couple of plays to spark the offence, and got the explosive play. So it just snowballed in a good way for Streve.
“We just wanted to give him a chance to finish that drive.”
The Jets had four rushing yards at halftime, and the running backs overall had 12 yards.
Streveler ignited the crowd with the Jets’ best offensive drive of the night, completing a 30-yard pass to C.J. Uzomah and running 14 yards. However, his first drive ended with a down loss at the Jaguars’ 14-yard line.
Streveler completed 10-of-15 passes for 90 yards. He also rushed for 54 yards on nine carries.
It was Streveler’s first regular-season game with the Jets.
“You have to expect to play whenever you’re dressed,” Streveler said. “You never know what can happen in this game; you have to be ready at all times and prepare as if you’re going to play.”
The Jaguars received the ball first after the Jets won the toss and deferred.
However, Jacksonville fumbled the ball on its first possession. On 3rd and 6, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, who returned after missing last week’s game due to a calf injury, sacked Lawrence and forced a fumble. Carl Lawson, a defensive tackle, was able to recover. The Jets then took over at the Jaguars’ 16, but they couldn’t convert for six points.
Following two running plays, Jaguars safety Andre Cisco blitzed and sacked Wilson on third down. As a result, the Jets were forced to settle for a Greg Zuerlein 37-yard field goal, which gave them an early 3-0 lead.
Jacksonville recovered on the next drive, as a 21-yard pass to Evan Engram and a 19-yard run by Travis Etienne Jr. set up Riley Patterson’s 32-yard field goal, which tied the game at 3-3.
Later in the first quarter, the Jets pinned the Jaguars back to their four-yard line. Despite having poor field position, Jacksonville went on a long, methodical drive that ended with six points.
Lawrence’s one-yard quarterback sneak set up a 16-play drive for the Jaguars, who led 10-3 early in the second quarter.
As the rain began to fall harder, the Jaguars’ offence continued to drive down the field against the Jets’ top-five defence. They had to settle for three points, as Patterson’s 45-yard field goal increased Jacksonville’s lead to 13-3.
Jacksonville added three more points in the third quarter when its drive stalled and Patterson hit a 41-yard field goal.
Late in the fourth quarter, on Streveler’s second drive, the Jets started at the one-yard line and quickly turned the ball over. Streveler’s pass to Garrett Wilson was complete, but he fumbled it, and Tre Herndon recovered it for Jacksonville on the Jets’ 37-yard line. Patterson’s 37-yard field goal extended the Jaguars’ lead to 19-3.
Both teams will have a short break before returning to action on January 1. The Jets will travel across the country to face the Seahawks. The Jaguars will also be on the road, facing the Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston.
“Let’s just win a game,” Jets cornerback D.J. Reed said. “We’ve been talking about playoffs for the entire month of December. Let’s just win this game.
“That’s my focus, getting ready for Seattle, just focus on winning. Whatever happens, happens. Simply concentrate on winning the game.”