The Jets and QB Zach Wilson were hoping and planning on Sunday afternoon to take advantage of Miami's loss at Buffalo the night before and of Detroit's less formidable attack on the road as compared to home at Ford Field to improve their playoff profile.
That didn't happen. In a game in which both sides fought back and forth for 60 minutes, Greg Zuerlein came on with one second left in regulation to try for a game-tying, overtime-inducing 20-20 tie from 58 yards out. Zuerlein's kick sailed just wide left at 0:00 and the Jets fell to the Lions, 20-17.
The Green & White got off to a slow start, falling behind, 7-0, but Wilson, making his eighth start of the season and his first in four weeks, caught fired in the second quarter, survived a sluggish third quarter, then led the offense on a 56-yard march to his second touchdown pass of the game to TE C.J. Uzomah and the Jets' first lead of the game at 17-13 with 4:41 left.
But on a tight end kind of day at MetLife, the Jets defense yielded a crushing 51-yard pass play on a soft toss from Jared Goff to wide-open TE Brock Wright on fourth-and-inches near midfield. Wright took it the rest of the way as the visitors from the Midwest went back on top.
With the loss, the Jets fall to 7-7, the same record the Lions improve to in the NFC postseason picture. Perhaps this disappointing defeat will be forgotten more quickly since the Jets have to be ready to go in four days for their first primetime game of the season, back at MetLife in the last home game of the regular season against the Jaguars.
Wilson, starting at QB for the first time in four games after Mike White wasn't cleared to start with a rib injury suffered at Buffalo, finished the game with 18 completions on 35 attempts for 317 yards, the two TD passes to Uzomah and one interception. Wilson's passer rating, which was over 150 for a short while in his sizzling second quarter, dropped to 89.8 by the end of the game.
Jets rookie WR Garrett Wilson had 98 yards on four receptions, lifting him to 67 for the season and breaking the Jets rookie season record of 66 catches by Wayne Chrebet in 1995.
Goff was 23-of-38 for 252 yards, the one TD pass and an 88.9 rating.
See the best images from the Week 15 matchup between the Jets and Lions.