The New York Jets got their first win of the 2021 season last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in a thrilling overtime win, 27 - 24. Zach Wilson showed the special talents that got him drafted #2 overall in the 2021 NFL draft, and the Jets’ defensive line dominated, pressuring Ryan Tannehill all game. The Jets record under new head coach Robert Saleh rose to 1-3. How did the power rankings feel about this win? Let’s find out.
28. New York Jets
After three straight weeks of disappointing performance after disappointing performance, the New York Jets showed some life for head coach Robert Saleh, beating an injury-depleted Tennesee Titans team in overtime.
But the win isn’t the most important development from this game. It’s nice to get a “W,” but seeing Zach Wilson tread water for the first time in his rookie season was the most important event from Sunday.
Just three days after Trevor Lawrence had his best game as a pro, Wilson had his own. He’s still struggling to complete passes at a higher rate than expected, but on Sunday, he pushed the ball downfield and made enough throws to win the game for the Jets.
In the end, Saleh got his first Gatorade bath as a head coach.
29. New York Jets (1-3)
Last week: Win vs. Tennessee, 27-24 (OT)
Next week: at Atlanta (London)
In what was something of a theme for rookie QBs this week, Zach Wilson gave us a reminder of why the Jets drafted him No. 2 overall. His 53-yard off-script TD play to Corey Davis demonstrated his best attributes: His arm strength, his improvisational skills and his confidence, the last of which is especially important in light of his rough start to the season. The Jets still need a lot of work, which we expected would be true this season, but days like this sustain the slog.
29. Jets (1-3)
The lowest-scoring team in the NFL after three weeks came to life against the Titans because Zach Wilson showed great touch on his deep passes in the second half and overtime. Wilson’s improvisational ability showed up, too. But let’s not sleep on a defense that sacked Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill seven times. Seven!
29. New York Jets (1-3)
Biggest surprise: Defense has overachieved
Why it’s a surprise: The defense ranks in the top half of the league in points and yards allowed despite some tough circumstances. Top pass-rusher Carl Lawson was lost to a season-ending injury in the preseason, linebacker Jarrad Davis (ankle) still hasn’t played, free safety Lamarcus Joyner suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1 and three rookies are starting. Talk about adversity. Thanks to good coaching, plus terrific starts by LB C.J. Mosley and DT Quinnen Williams, the Jets’ defense has managed to hold it together.
New York hadn’t won a game in nine months prior to Sunday’s breakthrough. Now it’s off to London in search of a streak.
The win lifted the Jets out of the basement in the NFL power rankings. It’s one small step in the long slog back to respectability. Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons provides the Jets the opportunity to continue rising.
With the obvious proviso that power rankings are stupid, unless they praise the Jets, in which case they’re awesome, what do you think? Where should the Jets rank in the NFL power rankings?