As the old nursery rhyme goes, first is the worst, and the second is the best.
Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, led the New York Jets to a 26-21 victory over first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Wilson tossed 22 passes, completing 14 for 102 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, Wilson rushed for a franchise record of 91 yards. He did not turn the ball over.
The Jets were afflicted by a COVID-19 outbreak during the week leading up to the game, with 21 players placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list before the start of the game. Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh was unable to coach due to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. Tight Ends Coach Ron Middleton assumed his duties.
After the Jets held the Jaguars to a field goal on their first drive, Wilson broke off a 52-yard touchdown run, tiptoeing to stay in bounds and making a man miss en route to the endzone. The run was the longest by a Jets QB in franchise history.
After Jets S Jason Pinnock forced a fumble from Lawrence, Jaguars OL Will Richardson Jr. fell on the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown to hike the Jaguars’ lead to 9-6.
The Jets immediately answered, however. KR/PR Braxton Berrios, who was recently selected as an alternate for the Pro Bowl, housed a 103-yard kickoff return to put the Jets up 13-9. The Jets would not lose the lead for the rest of the game.
On 4th-and-goal midway through the 4th quarter, Wilson tossed a 1-yard touchdown to offensive tackle Conor McDermott, who lined up as an eligible receiver, to take a 23-15 lead.
Though the Jaguars mounted a two-minute drill at the end of the game, their comeback attempt fell just short, failing to convert on 4th-and-goal at the one-yard line.
The Jets improved to 4-11, while the Jaguars fell to 2-13. According to tankathon.com, the Jaguars now hold the first overall pick in the draft, while the Jets hold the fourth overall pick.
The Jets take on the Tampa Bay Buccanneers next week at MetLife Stadium for their final home game. The Jaguars look to snap their seven-game losing streak at the New England Patriots.