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Inside the Numbers | Offense, Special Teams Metrics That Were Quite Complementary

Jets Defense Benefited from Time off the Field, Improved Drive Starts in Bounceback Win over Texans


The Green & White catchphrase after Sunday's 30-6 victory over Houston was "complementary football."

You know, the kind they didn't play vs. the Chargers, at Las Vegas, at Buffalo and vs. Miami. The kind they did play on opening night vs. the Bills, against the Eagles and in their soaking-wet feelgood win over the Texans.

Jets leading sacker Bryce Huff had a simple summation of the game: "The offense did a great job of getting things open. The special teams did their thing. We did a good job playing complementary football."

The defense has been playing at a top-10 and now top-five level most of the year, and they'll be heard from in a big way on this week. But to help the unit reach some historic heights vs. Houston, the offense and special teams had to rise to the occasion. Here are several bullet graphs explaining how they did.

Back on the Offensive

Zach Attack: Zach Wilson returned to the starting lineup with a vengeance. After a good but scoreless first half, he erupted with one of the best recent second halves of passing and scoring in Jets fans' memories. He completed 18 of 21 passes for 209 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 139.9 passer rating. That's actually not Wilson's best second-half rating as a Jet. In his rookie season of '21, when the Jets stunned the Titans, he posted a 145.8 rating.

But putting Zach's game in even loftier terms, his 139.9 is the second-best second-half rating by a Jets QB since 2007. The best: Geno Smith's 154.9, when he completed, usually with WR Eric Decker on the receiving end, 11 of 15 for 236 yards, two TDs and no INTs in the 2014 season finale. The site of this achievement? A place in South Florida then known as Sun Life Stadium. Now it's Hard Rock Stadium, and it's where Wilson and the Jets are headed for their next game.

Breece and Garrett: Both RB Breece Hall and WR Garrett Wilson combined with Zach Wilson to get back into triple figures, as in 100-plus yards from scrimmage. Hall, with another outstanding receiving day out of the backfield, checked in with 126 yards. G.Wilson added a tone-setting 3-yard end-around on an early fourth-and-1 to his 108 receiving yards for 111 YFS.

Jets teammates with 100 scrimmage yards in the same game is not a great rarity. But can Hall/G.Wilson do it again at Miami? The last time a Jets WR and RB teamed up for 100-plus each in two consecutive games, the wideout was Brandon Marshall, the RB Chris Ivory, and the first game was (oddly enough) on the road vs. Miami. Except this game was really on the road and across the pond, in the Jets' win at London's Wembley Stadium. And the second game was home vs. Washington, a fact we'll repeat if Breece/Garrett are in position to do their thing three consecutive games.

Are They Special? Very

Greg Zuerlein: The Z-man finally got to try some field goals again, after getting only two tries in his previous three games. And Greg the Leg was true to one of his nicknames, drilling 51-, 55- and 44-yarders, making him one of the few Jets kickers to go 3-for-3 in fourth-quarter tries. (Jason Myers vs. Indianapolis in 2018 and Bobby Howfield vs. New Orleans in 1972 are the only others.)

More important for Legatron, his two 50-yarders vs. the Texans give him 10 fifties in his two Jets seasons, extending his franchise mark for most 50-yarders converted in back-to-back seasons. And he's one of only a few Jets to nail a pair of 50s in a game. He also did it last year vs. Cincinnati, and only two other Jets kickers have done it once: Nick Folk at St. Louis in 2012 and Pat Leahy at New England in '85.

Thomas Morstead: He continues his season of sometimes explosive, sometimes surgical punting. With 61- and 53-yard rockets against the Texans, Morstead has increased his NFL lead to 43 punts of 50-plus yards. And with another punt (and almost a second) downed by recently returned ST captain Justin Hardee inside the opponents' 5-yard line, Morstead has a league-high six I-5's.

All of which helps the defense do what it does so well with a little rest. Consider that the Jets offense's 37:05 in possession time was their most in a regulation game since charting a 42:49 in the 2017 win over Kansas City. And that their drive-start yard-line edge was a healthy 15.2 yards better than the Texans' (37.2 to 22.0). Good omens at least for a complementary continuation against the Dolphins in what is forecast to be a rainy South Florida on Sunday.

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