The Jets and Seahawks each went into today battling for their playoff lives. And the day didn't go the Green & White's way in their do-or-die game in the Pacific Northwest.
After New England subdued Miami, 23-21, the Jets faced playoff elimination with a loss at Seattle. And many of those things head coach Robert Saleh and his players wanted to eliminate — inaccurate passes, struggling starts on both sides of the ball, turnovers — rose up again to do them in.
As a result, the Jets gave up 17 points on their first three drives and slowly lost the ability to come back. Their 23-6 loss to loss to the Seahawks and former Jets QB Geno Smith dropped them to 7-9 and out of AFC playoff contention.
The visitors got some big gains from Ty Johnson, who started and burst from the gates for a 22-yard run, and TE Tyler Conklin, who reeled in a 30-yard reception from Mike White. But similar to the loss at Minnesota, the Jets had trouble putting sevens on the board instead of threes when they got in or near the red zone. Their only points deep into the fourth quarter were a pair of first-half 44-yard field goals by Greg Zuerlein, who then missed a 57-yarder on the first drive of the third quarter.
See the best images from the Week 17 matchup between the Jets and Seahawks.
Revenge game for Smith? Geno, who left the Jets after four seasons and found his own way to Puget Sound in 2019, said absolutely not before the game, but he had a payback kind of afternoon with two first-half touchdown passes and an efficient 18-of-29, 183-yard, no-turnover, 103.1-passer-rating game. Seattle rookie RB Kenneth Walker began the game with a 60-yard run and finished it with 133 yards on 23 carries. Former Jets K Jason Myers added three short field goals.
White never seemed to get comfortable in his first game back after sitting the previous two with his rib injury. He began the game with an interception, ended the first half with a lost strip sack, and threw a second pick with 9:17 to play that pretty much sealed the Jets' fate. He completed 23 of 46 passes for 240 yards and a 47.4 rating and was also sacked four times.
WR Garrett Wilson needed 4 receiving yards coming in to become the first first Jet since Brandon Marshall & Eric Decker in 2015 and the first Jets rookie ever to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Wilson climbed onto the thou plateau with an 8-yard catch from White on the Jets' second-quarter field goal drive. But Wilson was held to three short receptions.
The Jets defense was credited with four sacks of Smith, one a team sack late in the game, another by Carl Lawson for his seventh sack of the season. Pro Bowl DL Quinnen Williams added three QB hits. And Pro Bowl rookie CB Sauce Gardner increased his NFL-leading total of pass defenses by four to 20 PDs as he and the Jets secondary held top WR DK Metcalf to no catches until he caught his only pass of the game, a 3-yarder as the third quarter grew old.
But it wasn't nearly enough to provide a happy finish to this chapter in the Green & White's season and a continuation of their tale that hinted at their first postseason berth since 2010 after they took a 6-3 record into their Week 10 bye. They'll try to finish the season on an uptick with a win at Miami and a division sweep of the Dolphins to end their 2022 season.