Jets pick up victory after blowing 20-point lead against Commanders


Greg Zuerlein kicked a 54-yard field goal with 5 seconds left, rescuing the Jets after they blew a 20-point lead in the third quarter, and New York beat the Washington Commanders 30-28 on Sunday.

Jacoby Brissett replaced the benched Sam Howell in the third quarter and led the Commanders on three straight touchdown drives, including Antonio Gibson’s 1-yard run that put Washington ahead 28-27 with 4:52 remaining.

After the Jets (6-9) held Brissett and the Commanders to a three-and-out, they got the ball back with 1:41 remaining. Trevor Siemian marched New York into field goal range and Zuerlein booted the game-winner.

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It was the second win in eight games for the Jets, and it came hours after owner Woody Johnson told the New York Post he was bringing back coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas next year.

Siemian finished 27 of 49 for 217 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception in his first start in place of the injured Zach Wilson. Breece Hall ran for 95 yards and two TDs and caught 12 passes for 96 yards in the home finale for New York.

Brissett was 10 of 13 for 100 yards and a touchdown in relief of Howell, who was benched for the second straight game. Howell was 6 of 22 for 56 yards and two interceptions with a 1.7 rating for the Commanders (4-11), who have dropped six straight.

New York Jets linebacker Quincy Williams (56) reacts after intercepting a pass against the Washington Commanders during the third quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J.  (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Chris Rodriguez had two touchdown runs for Washington, who looked to be out of it early before Brissett helped lead an impressive comeback.

In a matchup of the Commanders’ 32nd-ranked defense against the Jets’ NFL-worst offense, New York gained the upper hand early.

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New York took a 3-0 lead just two minutes in on Zuerlein’s 25-yarder after Tony Adams intercepted Howell’s pass intended for Logan Thomas. It was Howell’s NFL-leading 16th interception.

The Jets got another takeaway on the Commanders’ next drive when Jermaine Johnson blocked Tress Way’s punt. New York got the ball at Washington’s 9 and Siemian found undrafted rookie Jason Brownlee, for an 8-yard touchdown — the first score of Brownlee’s career — to take a 10-0 lead.

It was the Jets’ second touchdown in the opening quarter this season, and they weren’t done.

After New York forced a three-and-out and Washington was penalized for an illegal touch on its punt, the Jets started their third straight drive in Commanders territory — and again took advantage. On second down, Hall took the handoff from Siemian and zipped into the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown to make it 17-0 less than six minutes in.

The Jets got another takeaway in the second quarter when Ashtyn Davis recovered Jamison Crowder’s fumbled punt return and New York turned it into a 27-yard field goal by Zuerlein to take a 20-0 lead.

Washington benefited from its own takeaway late in the second half when Siemian couldn’t handle Joe Tippmann’s high snap and Casey Toohill recovered. Rodriguez took the handoff on first down and ran for about 7 yards and then was helped the next 5 yards into the end zone by a scrum of Commanders for his first career TD to make it 20-7.

Hall gave the Jets a 20-point lead again when he ran for a 2-yard touchdown.

But then came Washington’s comeback.

Quincy Williams intercepted Howell in the third quarter for New York’s third takeaway, but Cody Barton intercepted Siemian three plays later and returned it 52 yards.

Brissett replaced Howell and promptly led a scoring drive, connecting with Thomas for a 15-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 27-14.

Rodriguez ran from 1 yard out for his second touchdown with 9:33 left to make it 27-21, two plays after a questionable pass interference call on D.J. Reed in the end zone moved the ball from the 22 to the 1.

INJURIES

Commanders: RT Andrew Wylie injured an elbow in the first half. … CB Benjamin St-Juste suffered a concussion in the third quarter.

Jets: TE Jeremy Ruckert was ruled out in the third quarter with a concussion.

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UP NEXT

Commanders: Host San Francisco next Sunday.

Jets: At Cleveland on Thursday night.



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