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3 Takeaways Jets at Vikings | Robert Saleh Points to 'Missed Opportunities' in Jets' Loss to Vikings

Green & White Struggle on 3rd Down, in Red Zone; RB Zonovan Knight Cracks 100 Scrimmage Yards


The Jets (7-5) lost to the Vikings (10-2) in Minnesota on Sunday, 27-22. Here are three takeaways from the Week 13 game.

Third Down and Red Zone Struggles
Sunday's outcome was decided in the red zone and on third down.

The Green & White converted 3-of-16 (19%) third downs while Minnesota converted 50% (9 of 18). In building a 20-3 lead at half, the Vikings dominated on third down on both sides of the ball. The Jets were 2 of 7 on third down (29%) as the Vikings went 7 of 11 in the first two quarters.

Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins & Co., who entered Sunday's game with the NFL's No. 7 passing offense, were held to 173 passing yards. All-Pro WR Justin Jefferson was held to 45 receiving yards, which led the team. But Minnesota scored touchdowns on all three of its red-zone trips. The Jets, on the other hand, converted on 1 of 6 in the red area despite outgaining the Vikings by 486-287 in total yards.

"We were giving up too many things, especially on third down," Saleh said. "It was just missed opportunities all over the place in the first half. We felt if we could just play a little bit more efficient, we'll start moving the ball, we'll get our stops and we can make it a game. We just couldn't score in the red zone."

Bam Knight and Ty Johnson Carry the Load
With the Jets playing from behind most of the afternoon, Ty Johnson was featured in the pass game -- he had 6 receptions for 38 yards.

Rookie RB Zonovan "Bam" Knight, who amassed 103 scrimmage yards in his first NFL game, a win over the Bearslast week, again was the workhorse in the backfield. He led the club with 20 touches and had a 48-yard run in the fourth quarter, finishing with 90 yards on the ground and 118 yards from scrimmage.

"I really don't think anything specifically was working well for me, it was the offensive line," Knight said. "They did a good job of executing on plays. And just like everyone else, they make mistakes sometimes. But for the most part, when we needed big plays, they came out and they helped me execute."

James Robinson,inactive in Week 12, had 10 yards on 4 carries. The Jets ran for 120 yards on 24 carries (5 yards a carry avg).

With rookie Breece Hall on injured reserve, the Jets were also without RB Michael Carter. The second-year back was listed as doubtful on the injury report after sustaining a low-ankle injury against the Bears.

Corralling Cook &. Co
Vikings RB Dalvin Cook, having already secured 1,000-plus scrimmage yards for a fourth consecutive season,came out of the gate hot against the Jets.

The dynamic runner rushed for 49 yards in the opening quarter, averaging 7 yards a carry. On the Vikings' first TD drive, which extended into the second quarter, Cook rushed 5 times for 24 yards and gave the'Vikes a 10-3 advantage on a 4-yard score. 

Minnesota relied on the run game in the first half, gaining 94 yards. RB Alexander Mattison extended the Vikings lead to 17-3 in the second quarter with a 14-yard run up the middle. But the Jets were much better against Cook in the second half, yielding 38 total yards. 

The Vikings had 29 rushes, 128 yards (4.4 avg) and 2 touchdowns.

"Obviously when they get in the red zone, we don't want to give up touchdowns, especially in the run game," LB C.J. Mosley said. "Just have to start faster. As a defense, we gave up 20 [points] in the first half and that's hard to come back from especially on the road. We're definitely putting that on us, so we just have to find a way to not give up those points early."

See the best images from the Week 13 matchup between the Jets and Vikings.

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