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Final Score: Jets 22, Bills 16

The New York Jets open their 2023 NFL season with a victory against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football

Buffalo Bills v New York Jets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

In the New York Jets’ 2023 season opener, the Jets persevered for an unlikely victory over the Buffalo Bills, 22 - 16, after Aaron Rodgers left the game with a leg injury on the first Jets drive of the game.

The game was barely started before disaster struck for a Jets team that at times feels cursed at the quarterback position. On the first Jets drive of the game the Jets prized offseason acquisition, four time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, was sacked, injured his ankle, and had to be helped off the field. He would not return.

The Rodgers injury put the Jets behind the eight ball early on, and the Bills methodically built a 13 - 3 halftime lead against a deflated Jets quad.

The Jets opened the third quarter on offense and went on a clock chewing drive featuring a large dose of their running game. The drive stalled deep in Bills territory and the Jets settled for a 43 yard field goal to get within 7 points at 13 - 6.

The teams exchanged a few punts, bringing the third quarter to a close with the score still 13 - 6 in favor of the Bills.

The Bills went on a drive to start the fourth quarter that ended when Josh Allen threw his third interception of the game, all to Jordan Whitehead.

The Jets took over and went on a long drive that ended with what may be the best catch I’ve ever seen as Garrett Wilson made an impossible grab in the end zone to tie the game up at 13 - 13 with less than five minutes to play.

On the next play from scrimmage Josh Allen fumbled for his fourth turnover in the game and the Jets took over deep in Bills territory with just under five minutes remaining in the game. The Jets ran about three minutes off the clock, then kicked a 30 yard field goal to take their first lead of the game at 16 -13 with just under two minutes remaining. It was now up to the defense to shut the Bills down one last time and seal the victory. Alas it was not to be. The Bills drove down the field and doinked a 50 yard field goal with six seconds left to tie the score at 16 and send the game into overtime.

The Jets forced a three and out on the Bills opening drive in overtime. On the ensuing punt Xavier Gipson became the unlikely hero of the game with an incredible punt return for a touchdown.

With the win the Jets open the 2023 NFL season already in first place in the AFC East, tied with the Miami Dolphins at 1-0. Now the Jets must put this game behind them and move on to face the Dallas Cowboys, a team that annihilated the New York Giants by 40 points this week, on short rest. This doesn’t get any easier from here.