Jets RB Breece Hall was in the giving spirit on Christmas Eve. He gifted the Jets to an early lead with two first-half touchdowns, and then a key first down on the team's final drive to put the Green & White in range for a game-winning 54-yard field goal. Hall finished with 191 all-purpose yards and the Jets topped the Commanders, 30-28.
"Breece was awesome today both in the run and pass game," HC Robert Saleh said. "We had a chance to blow it up even more. We let some things get away from us in the second half that kept us from getting in our four-minute offense where we could run the ball."
Leading by10-0 late in the first quarter, Hall broke loose for a 36-yard touchdown run. The second-year tailback hit a hole on the left side created by LT Mekhi Becton and followed strong blocks from TEs Jeremy Ruckert and WR Xavier Gipson into the second level.
One week after the Jets' offense was shut out and Hall managed 18 total yards, he accounted for 74 yards in the first quarter Sunday (49 rushing, 25 receiving) and averaged 9.8 yards per carry.
"I kind of knew just from the front they were in, it was going to be a good play," Hall said of his first score. "I didn't know it was going to be a touchdown. It was just cool to see how Hack [OC Nathaniel Hackett] drew it up and how we were able to execute it."
Hall found the endzone again with less than two minutes left in the first half to put the Jets up, 27-7. He took a handoff to the right, got the edge and collided with a defender before spinning and reaching the ball across the goal line. He joined former Jets RB Bill Mathis as the only players in franchise history with multiple rushing scores in a Christmas Eve game. Mathis did it in 1967. Hall totaled 125 all-purpose yards in the first two quarters – 83 rushing and 42 receiving.
"The coaches were able to get me in good spots and space and they stayed with me the whole game," Hall said. "It is a blessing that they still have faith in me after a big knee injury and everything and still believe I am the guy. It means a lot to me."
Trailing by 27-7 at halftime, the Commanders made a furious rally after making a QB change to Jacoby Brissett to take the lead, 28-27.
On the Jets final offensive possession, Hall took a 2-yard Trevor Siemian pass 12 more yards to Washington's 39-yard line after he evaded a pair of defenders. Three plays later, Greg Zuerlein knocked a field goal through to win the game.
"GZ [Zuerlein], he never misses, so I wasn't suspired at all," Hall said. "Literally as they snapped the ball, I was already walking onto the field ready to shake everybody's hand because I knew he was going to make it."
Hall led the team in receptions (12), receiving yards (96), rushing yards (95) and totaled the second-most yards from scrimmage in his career. Hall became the only player in NFL history to record 90-plus rush yards, 50-plus receiving yards and 2-plus rush TD in a Christmas Eve game. In addition, WR Garrett Wilson had a big day with 9 receptions for 76 yards including 65 yards in the first half. Wilson surpassed 900 yards receiving (958) and 80 receptions (88) for the second-straight season.
Hall and Wilson became the third Jets duo with 9-plus receptions and 75-plus receiving yards each in a game in franchise history (Johnny Hector and Al Toon in 1986 and Eddie Bell and Don Maynard in 1970).
"I was just talking to Trevor [Siemian]," TE Tyler Conklin said. "Breece and Garrett, you get the ball in their hands and they can turn something into nothing. That's huge for us as an offense right now, to be able to check it down to Breece or something and a 5-yard catch becomes 20, 30, whatever it is. Obviously, he's a special player. We know that and we need him to keep doing that."