The Patriots and Jets met on Sunday afternoon on a cold, blustery day in Foxborough and produced the worst offensive game of the season, as the two teams combined for six points, tied 3-3, with under 30 seconds to go.
After throwing for a 1-yard loss on 3rd and 1, the Jets were set to punt the ball back to the Pats with 26 seconds on the clock and overtime felt pretty assured, given how both offenses had struggled to move the ball at all. However, Marcus Jones had other ideas as he fielded the punt at his own 16 and took off up the right sideline, finding a seam, and then cutting back up to the middle of the field to get by the punter.
A walkoff punt return is about as rare as it gets in the NFL — in fact, it was the first punt return touchdown of any kind in the league all year — as it’s just not something that ever should be able to happen. The Jets will be upset about what looked like a block in the back (an unnecessary one at that) at the very end, which would’ve at least forced New England to kick a field goal in the wind for the win.
While that will be a bit of a lingering controversy, the bigger issue for me is how do you even put yourself in this position in the first place. That is a situation where the punt needs to be unreturnable, whether that be just kicked completely out of bounds, or hung up high to force a fair catch. Still, this was a game the Jets more than deserved to lose, as they had more punts (10) than completions from Zach Wilson (9), as the second-year QB put forth one of the worst games from any signal-caller this season.
The New York offense had 103 total yards — 59 rushing and 44 passing — with six total first downs. The Pats weren’t exactly explosive, but dominated the game with 297 yards and 13 first downs, but Mac Jones was sacked six times and their drives regularly stalled just across midfield, while the Jets simply chose to never get anything going.