The Jets (7-8) lost to the Jaguars (7-8), 19-3, at MetLife Stadium in a Week 16 game on Thursday night. Here are three takeaways.
Discrepancy on the Ground
Jacksonville won the battle in the trenches and it was convincing, especially early in the game.
The Jags rushed 24 times for 115 yards in the first half, averaging 4.8 yards a carry. RB Travis Etienne was the bell cow, handling 17 carries for 64 yards. He finished with 83 yards on 22 carries.
QB Trevor Lawrence pitched in with 41 yards on 5 attempts and his 1-yard scoring dive, reaching the ball over the goal line over a pile of linemen, in the second quarter was the game-winning score.
"They executed their game plan well, so we have to give them credit for that," said LB C.J. Mosley, who led both teams with 12 tackles. "Trevor did a great job getting out the pocket, making plays with his feet, avoiding the sack. … They executed better than we did."
The Jets rushed for 4 yards in the first half on 5 carries. They finished with 66 rushing yards, 54 of which came from backup QB Chris Streveler (9 carries, 5.4 avg).
"It's not good enough right now," Saleh said of the run game.
Pair of Fourth and 1s
The Jets elevated Streveler from the practice squad on Thursday. Streveler, who was previously promoted from the P-squad before the Jets' game with the Patriots in Week 8, but was inactive, entered the game with 5:09 remaining in the first quarter.
On a second-and-7 from the Jacksonville 42, Streveler took a snap but whistles blew the play dead. RT George Fant was flagged for false start and Streveler headed to the sideline.
With the Jets trailing 16-3 late in the third quarter, HC Robert Saleh turned the offensive reins over to Streveler. He led a 16-play, 83-yard drive before the Green & White turned the ball over on downs at the Jacksonville 13 when he threw incomplete to Garrett Wilson on fourth-and-2.
"The intent was to try and spark the run game," Saleh said. "It was still a two-score game. Spark the run game, get that thing going. We came into the game, especially with the weather forecast, of a package of plays for Strev to try to utilize the run game in the event that it really got out of hand with the weather. With that package, we moved right down the field, had them on their heels. Obviously we didn't finish the drive, but he sparked the offense, so we just wanted to keep it going."
Streveler completed 66.7% of his passes (10 of 15) for 90 yards while adding 54 on the ground. The offense totaled 227 yards, converted 2 of 13 (15%) on third down and 1 of 5 on (20%) on fourth down, and was held off the scoreboard for three quarters.
"We have to look in the mirror tonight, watch the film tomorrow and, as always, correct the things that need to be corrected," Streveler said. "Playoffs, whatever that situation is, we have to go out and execute. Offensively, we have to go out and score points. We have to get better and today just wasn't good enough."
Special Teams Blunders
Three players entered Thursday night's game with a shot at 1,000 yards.
Jets rookie standout Garrett Wilson, who set the team's rookie receiving yardage mark against Buffalo and the franchise's rookie reception mark against Detroit, was 34 yards away from becoming the first rookie to reach 1,000 yards in franchise history. He had a chance late in the fourth quarter, but he fumbled the ball after converting on fourth down. The Jags recovered on the returned the ball 14 yards to the Jets 24-yard line. Wilson finished with 30 yards on 4 receptions.
Jaguars WR Christian Kirk, who also needed 34 receiving yards to break 1,000 for the first time in his five-year career, had 3 receptions for 22 yards. But RB Travis Etienne hit the 1,000-yard mark on the button. The second-year player needed 83 yards and finished with 83 on 22 carries.
See the best images from the Week 16 matchup between the Jets and Jaguars on Thursday Night Football.