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Inside the Numbers | Jets' 7 Successes in the Last 2 Minutes of Regulation

Despite Green & White's Ups & Downs, They Displayed a Late-4th-Quarter Ability to Pull Out or Lock Up Wins


Going inside the numbers doesn't stop with the final gun in the final game of the season. Sometimes spreadsheets and charts need a few weeks to develop. And sometimes something really neat rises from the digital soup.

Such as the Jets' two-minute drives in 2023. First-half drives weren't that impressive. In the final two minutes of their second quarters, the Jets posted seven scores, the opponents 10, and the Jets were outscored in those two-minute drills, 43-32.

But the final two minutes of regulation told a different story.

The Jets scored in those final two minutes in seven games and allowed opponents to score just once, a Bills field goal to send opening night at MetLife Stadium into overtime. The Jets prevailed in this final two-minute-drive period, 35-3. The plus-32 point margin was the best in the final two minutes of regulation in the NFL regular season, ahead of, among others, Detroit (plus-20), Tampa Bay (plus-14) and Buffalo (plus-12).

But there's more. Those seven late scores, all put on the scoreboard by either a guy named Zuerlein or a guy named Hall, all came in the seven wins in their recently concluded season.

Here is a refresher chart on those scores:

Table inside Article
Game, Opp Score Jets' Late Points Time Left Final Score
Game 1 vs BUF Tied 13-13 Greg Zuerlein 30 FG 1:48 TG 4Q Jets 22-16 OT
Game 5 @ DEN Jets 24-21 Bryce Hall 39 FR 0:29 TG Jets 31-21
Game 6 vs PHI Eagles 14-12 Breece Hall 8 run 1:46 TG Jets 20-14
Game 7 @ NYG Giants 10-7 Greg Zuerlein 33 FG 0:00 TG 4Q Jets 13-10 OT
Game 13 vs HOU Jets 27-6 Greg Zuerlein 44 FG 1:08 TG Jets 30-6
Game 15 vs WAS Commanders 28-27 Greg Zuerlein 54 FG 1:08 TG Jets 30-28
Game 17 @ NE Jets 9-3 Breece Hall 50 run 1:47 TG Jets 17-9

When something happens X times and after all X times a W results, that tends to make football-minded people think something good is happening, despite the twists and turns of a 7-10 season. Six of the above two-minute drives were instrumental in helping the Jets pull those victories out or put them away.

To be sure, one of the scores wasn't of the "fantastic finish" variety. Against the Texans, Greg Zuerlein's last field goal opened the lead from 27-6 to 30-6. And not all scores were by the offense or executed when the Jets were behind. At Denver, Quincy Williams' pantherine pursuit and strip of Russell Wilson and Bryce Hall's scoop-and-score down the right sideline opened the Jets' lead from a shaky 24-21 to the secured 31-21 final.

We're certainly not saying the Jets had a secret power. If so, where was that power in the close losses at Las Vegas and at MetLife vs. New England and Atlanta and even Kansas City? A true two-minute magic might have turned three of those four one-score losses into wins and a 7-10 record into a 10-7 mark.

It also should be noted that Zach Wilson quarterbacked the first five of the seven wins with the last-minutes scores. Wilson has had his struggles but he's often been calm in the clutch, posting five fourth-quarter-comeback drives and five game-winning drives (similar but not quite the same measures) in his three seasons at QB.

As interesting as this factoid is, it is still at this point pigskin trivia. It's up to the Jets to make it mean something more, similar to what they say beating New England in the last game of the season meant. It's another small victory from the season past that the Jets need to fit into the foundation they're planning to build for the season ahead.

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