East Rutherford, NJ — Robert Saleh was soaked in a celebratory Gatorade bath when he turned to Zack Wilson after earning their first NFL win together.
“Are you having fun now?” The first-year head coach asked the rookie quarterback with a laugh.
The New York Jets can only hope that there are more days like this – but perhaps without as much drama.
Matt Ammendola kicked a 22-yard field goal in overtime, and then Randy Bullock was left with 15 seconds on a possible 49-yard tie, giving the Jets their first 27-24 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
“I’m (fun),” said Wilson, with a smile. “However, it’s an interesting fun. It was a roller-coaster game.”
The Jets took the lead in the extra period, but failed to seal it with a touchdown despite reaching the 1-yard line, as Ryan Tanhill – playing without injured receivers Julio Jones and AJ Brown – helped the Titans with two fourths. Climbed downfield. -down conversion.
The Jets were 26 on second and -5, Anthony Firkser couldn’t catch Tannehill’s pass and then the Titans delayed a game penalty. Tanhill threw unfinished to Jeremy McNichols, setting up a tying kick for Bullock – but the ball went wide left and sent the Jets (1-3) into a wild celebration.
“We fought back,” Tannehill said. “Proud of the way we fought. The defense made a big stop in overtime. Got us the ball back, gave us a chance. We didn’t do well in the field goal range.
The Jets had a chance to win it without giving the ball back to the Titans (2-2), when they reached 1 on an 8-yard catch from Tevin Coleman – at which point it was said he was out of bounds as he simply Had a short dive of the target line. Wilson took a 3-yard loss on the third down, a rookie mistake, setting up Ammendola’s 22-yards.
“I was killing myself on that last drive,” Wilson said. “I have to take advantage of my chances to finish that game.”
Wilson was mostly terrible, going 21 of 34 for 297 yards with touchdown passes to Corey Davis and Jamison Crowder and an interception.
He kept New York ahead 24-17, left in a 9:06 regulation when he rolled downfield to his right, pointy and waving from the pocket – urging Davis to keep going. The rookie launches the ball with a perfectly placed ball in Davis’ hands for a 53-yard touchdown.
“It was, ‘No! No! No! No! … Oh my god!'” Saleh said of his reaction on the sidelines.
The Jets tried to run the clock late in regulation, but had to punt and give the Titans another chance with 2:09.
This was more than enough time.
After an interference call on Jarrod Wilson on fourth and 10 from Titans 26, Tanhill threw 12 and 11 yards to Josh Reynolds, 6 to Nick Westbrook-Eikhin and 6 to Firkser to reach 2. Incomplete, Tannehill found Cameron Bateson wide open in the end zone for a tying 2-yard touchdown with 16 seconds remaining in regulation.
“It wasn’t that we didn’t move the ball,” Titans coach Mike Wrabel said. “We weren’t able to finish the drive early in the game and kept them in it.”
At the top
The Jets took their first lead of the season – 10-9 with 19 seconds remaining in the third quarter – on Ammandola’s 27-yard run. New York was the only team in the NFL that did not lead any game.
But it was short-lived as Tennessee fell heavily on Derrick Henry, who ran for 50 yards on the next drive—including a 1-yard TD. Tannehill went to MyCole Pruitt for a 2-point conversion and took a 17-10 lead with 13:14 remaining. Henry finished with 157 yards on 33 carries.
Wilson and the Jets came right back, however, when he rolled to his right and gave a 3-yard pass to Crowder for the tying score with 11:30 remaining.
The Jets had seven sacks, including two by Quinnon Williams, 1 1/2 by Bryce Huff, and one each by Quincy Williams, CJ Mosley and John Franklin-Myers. Bryce Hall had half the sack.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since sacks became official stat in 1982, Quinnon and Quincy Williams became the first brothers to get sacks in the same game as teammates.
After Bullock’s three field goals gave Tennessee a 9–0 lead, New York’s offense finally showed signs of life.
Received the ball in 2 after a 6-yard run by Michael Carter, the trailing rookie made his way to the middle with a good push from his O-lineman – heading into the end field to cut his first NFL touchdown. For the Jets’ losses late in the second quarter, it peaked at 9-7.
Tennessee’s Tommy Townsend was a 12-yard punt pal late in the first half on his first kick with the Titans for injured Brett Kern.
New York got the ball for Tennessee’s 48, but it was three-out. Townsend’s second punt traveled far ahead, going for 63 yards.
Titans: LG Roger Saffold got hurt and didn’t come back.
Jets: CB Brandin Echols walked into the first quarter with a jolt and didn’t return.
Titans: Head to Jacksonville to face Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars.
The Jets: Travel to London to take the “home” Atlanta Falcons at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next Sunday morning.
More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL