What Zach Wilson said about leading a wild comeback victory over Giants
The Jets faced long odds down 3 with 24 seconds remaining after taking possession at their own 25. Two long Wilson passes set up an overtime-forcing field goal
With 24 seconds remaining in Sunday’s matchup between the NFL’s two New York franchises, the Jets faced long odds to overcome the Giants’ 10-7 lead.
While the Giants had just missed a 35-yard field goal attempt, the Jets started a drive at their own 25-yard line and needed a moribund offense to come to life to have any chance of forcing overtime.
Worse yet, the Jets had no timeouts.
Zach Wilson and the Jets offense delivered, though — the third-year quarterback hit on back-to-back 29-yard pass plays, to Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard, to get the Jets to the Giants 17.
Time was ticking down, though, after Lazard was tackled in the middle of the field on the second catch.
After Zach Wilson successfully spiked the ball with one second left in regulation, Greg Zuerlein connected on a 35-yard field goal as time expired to force overtime.
Ultimately, the Jets won what was largely an ugly game 13-10 in overtime — more on how it all finished in a moment — as Wilson shook off his struggles from the game’s first 59 minutes to lead the Jets to victory and a 4-3 record.
“In situations like that, with what we went through, all it takes is a play, actually all it took was two plays,” Wilson told reporters, about the two long passes that set up the overtime-forcing field goal.
“I had no doubt we were going to win the game in OT. That’s why there’s no quit. You have to have a short-term memory, come off the field, go back out and keep going.”
Heading into the Jets’ drive with 24 seconds left in regulation, Wilson was 14 of 31 passing for 171 yards and a touchdown, and he had a team-high 25 rushing yards on four carries.
The Jets, though, had struggled all day to move the ball.
Outside of a 50-yard touchdown pass to Breece Hall late in the first quarter on a one-play drive, the Jets had punted the ball 11 times.
They also had two turnovers on a pair of Wilson fumbles on a rainy day where the Jets lost starting center Connor McGovern and eventually were down to their fourth-stringer at the position.
On the Jets’ possession before their final one in regulation, they had turned the ball over on downs with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, when Wilson was sacked for a 15-yard loss on a fourth-and-10 play.
“I guess I’m to the point where I have short-term memory,” Wilson said. “You really can do nothing but move on to the next play.”
That made the Jets’ quick-strike offense that led to the game-tying field goal even more surprising.
In overtime, the equally injury-bit Giants, who were down to their third-string quarterback, undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito, went three-and-out. Their offensive attack had relied largely on the running game after QB Tyrod Taylor left with a rib injury.
The Giants finished the day with a franchise record minus-9 net yards passing in the stormy weather.
Wilson and the Jets started their overtime series at their own 39, with the next score winning the game.
After two plays netted 0 yards, Wilson took a big hit as he threw on third down, and Garrett Wilson made an athletic 11-yard grab that kept the drive alive, even as the defender was called for pass interference on the play.
Three plays later on third-and-5, Zach Wilson threw deep to Malik Taylor — and while the pass was incomplete, another pass interference moved the ball down to the Giants 15.
After timeouts from both teams, Zuerlein made a game-winning 33-yard field goal that just snuck in the goal post.
Wilson finished the game completing 17 of 36 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown.
His spike at the end of regulation, after Lazard was tackled with around eight seconds to play, harkened back to a game earlier this season when Wilson wasn’t able to get a spike in time right before halftime in a contest against Denver, squandering a scoring opportunity.
“Absolute hustle. It was flawless. I peeked at the clock and looked up to see four seconds, I took one more glance to make sure we were set and knew we would get that one off,” Wilson said.
Up next for the Jets is a Monday night contest with the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 6.
“Just unbelievable grit and battle by the guys,” Wilson said. “No waver.”
He also understands there is plenty to improve for the Jets, who sit in third place in the AFC East standings after the comeback win.
“The defense keeps doing an unbelievable job. I think we’re always going to be in close games with a defense like that, but we have to play more balanced football,” Wilson said.