In the New York Jets’ seventh game of the 2023 NFL season, on a cool and damp afternoon in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the Jets defeated the New York Giants, 13 - 10, in a game the Jets badly needed to keep their playoff hopes on track.
The first half action saw the Jets take a 7 - 3 lead in an offensive show of horrific offense by both teams. The two teams combined for zero third down conversions. Other than Breece Hall’s 50 yard scamper for a score, neither team ever really threatened to put the ball in the end zone. This was scary ugly offensive football.
The Giants opened the third quarter with a quick drive down the field built on a couple of nice Saquon Barkley runs and a couple of damaging Jets penalties. Tomy DeVito then took it in for a go ahead touchdown to give the Giants the lead at 10 - 7. With the way the Jets offense was playing, that lead looked pretty imposing.
The rest of the third quarter saw both teams resume their complete offensive ineptitude, and we entered the fourth quarter with the score still 10 - 7 in favor of the Giants.
In the fourth quarter the clock continued to wind down with neither team getting anything done on offense. With under two minutes remaining the Jets turned the ball over on downs deep in their own territory. It looked like the game was over. However, the Giants couldn’t get a first down, Graham Gano missed a short field goal attempt, and the Jets got the ball back on their own 25 yard line with no timeouts and less than 30 seconds remaining. The situation looked almost hopeless.
Then Zach Wilson hit two quick passes, driving the Jets deep into Giants territory. With one second left Greg Zuerlein nailed a short field goal and the game went into overtime at 10 - 10.
The Giants got the ball first in overtime and went backwards. A Giants punt gave the Jets the ball in good field position. Then the Jets got a crucial pass interference call on third down that gave them the ball on the Giants 15 yard line. Greg Zuerlein sealed the victory with a short field goal from there.
What can you take from this game? It was a game the Jets had no business winning. The offense was absolutely atrocious. For most of the game it consisted of a single catch and run for a touchdown by Breece Hall. But the Jets hung in there, the defense kept the Giants from getting too far ahead, and in the end a couple of breaks led to an improbable Jets victory. It was ugly, it was precarious, but in the end it was a victory they needed, and they got it. The Jets should count themselves fortunate for surviving that offensive dumpster fire and winning a game they needed to win.
With the victory the Jets bring their record to 4-3 on the season as they eye a possible playoff berth down the road. They’ll need to do a lot better on offense going forward if that playoff berth is to be a realistic objective. Next week the Jets are home to host a struggling Los Angeles Chargers team. After a brutal schedule at the beginning of the season, the Jets have a chance to stack some victories against some of the lesser teams in the NFL. Let’s see if they can continue to take care of business.