Seattle – Mike F’n White turned into F’n Mike White Sunday and the Jets collapse is now complete.
The Jets lost their fifth straight game, an ugly 23-6 defeat to the Seahawks at Lumen Field to be officially eliminated from the playoffs for the 12th consecutive year, the longest active drought in the NFL.
The Jets entered the game needing to win their last two and lose the next week’s Patriots to the Bills. But the Jets couldn’t find the end zone and their defense stalled enough big plays early in the game to send the Jets into a meaningless final week of the season.
The loss sloughs the Jets to 7-9, ensuring their seventh straight losing season. This was an amazing touchdown for a team that was 7-4 at the end of November and felt ready to end the playoff drought. Instead, the Jets suffered one of the worst meltdowns in franchise history. Put it alongside 1994, 1997, 2000, 2008, and 2011 as a Jets team that showed a lot of promise only to end the season in huge disappointment.
Quarterback Mike White, considered by many to be the savior of the season, had his worst game of the season. In his first game since breaking his ribs, he was inaccurate and seemed slow to read the field. White threw two interceptions and never seemed to get comfortable.
On the other side was former Jets quarterback Geno Smith, who turned pro this season in Seattle. He wasn’t great with this pass but he threw two touchdown passes in the first half and gave the team that drafted him a big loss.
The game opened with the Jets defense allowing a 60-yard touchdown run to Kenneth Walker. That set the tone early for the defense, which gave up 193 yards in the first quarter. They would settle but Seattle had already taken the lead.
It was the same old story for the Jets offense, which looked as inept with White at center as it did with Zach Wilson. The Jets snapped a few big hits early on and had some success moving the ball but couldn’t find the end zone. The Jets have now gone two complete games without scoring a touchdown.
The Jets were trailing 17-6 at halftime but had a chance to get back in the game when they opened the second half with a punt. White found tight end Tyler Conklin on third-and-10 for a 30-yard gain and the Jets were on the move. But the drive was halted when White’s downfield pass sailed over the head of Corey Davies. Jets coach Robert Salih, desperate for a few points, got Greg Zuerlin kicked a 57-yard field goal that sailed wide left.
The Seahawks got great field position, and a fourth off and 1 by Smith kept the drive. They eventually settled for a 31-yard field goal from Jason Myers with 6:03 left entering the third quarter that gave the Seahawks a 14-point lead that they felt was closer to 40. Myers, a former kicker, added another field goal late in the game. The fourth quarter after an interception by White made it 23-6.
The Seahawks wasted no time jumping on the Jets. Walker took the first play from scrimmage right through the defense for a 60-yard gain. Two plays later, Smith hit tight end Colby Parkinson for a 12-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
On the Jets’ first drive, they drove to the Seahawks’ 33 but White made a bad decision on third and threw a double covering. Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs intercepted the pass and ended the Jets’ point opportunity.
The Seahawks got a field goal after the interception to take an early 10-0 lead.
The Jets responded with their own scoring drive. They went 49 yards in nine plays with Zuerlein’s 44-yard field goal cutting Seattle’s lead to 10-3 with 2:19 remaining in the first quarter.
Seattle consistently hit the big plays. The first quarter ended with Smith escaping a pass rush and then turning it over to running back DeeJay Dallas for a gain of 41 yards. That led to Smith’s second touchdown pass of the day, a 7-yard hit to tight end Tyler Mabry and a 17-3 lead early in the second quarter. This was my first professional lamprey catch.
The Jets moved the ball again on their next series and it reached the Seattle 13-yard line. But a false start on Duane Brown on first down saw them fall back 5 yards and they were unable to recover. In the third and 16th, Darrell Taylor White was sacked by George Fant, and Quinton Jefferson. They had to settle for another 44-yard field goal from Zuerlein to make it a 17-6 lead in favor of the Seahawks.
The Jets defense finally stalled midway through the second quarter, as Smith sacked twice. First, Michel Clemons homered first and then John Franklin Myers threw him out on third, forcing the first punt of the game.
The Jets attempted to move the ball from the 1 at the end of the first period but the drive and half ended in a hit by White, sending the Jets to the locker room by 17-6.
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