Josh McCown threw one of the most exciting touchdown passes of the New York Jets’ season to wide receiver Robbie Anderson Sunday, a 33-yarder deep in the right side of the end zone splitting two defenders, home at MetLife Stadium, completing a 66-yard drive against the Carolina Panthers with 1:12 left on the first half clock. The Jets had been able to contain the Panthers, now tied for first place in the NFC South with the New Orleans Saints, to just 12 points to end the half.
Third quarter: McCown’s 68-yard drive is highlighted by another pass to Anderson. A 54-yarder, a touchdown puts the Jets ahead 17-12 with 5:41 remaining. It’s Anderson’s fifth consecutive game in which he’s scored.
“Hats off to Robby. He’s a stud,” said McCown.
“He came into this thing as an undrafted guy, put his head down and just worked,” McCown noted, complimenting the talent of the Jets’ second year receiver from Temple University. McCown continued, “As a quarterback, it makes your job easier.” For McCown and the Jets, it became less than easy.
A two-yard Panther run by Jonathan Stewart ended the third quarter, 18-17, Panthers up, initiating the beginning of 17 fourth quarter points for Carolina. Ten for the Jets, and two gift-wrapped missteps to secure Carolina’s win.
Four-time linebacker Luke Kuechly returned a McCown fumble 34 yards for a Carolina touchdown, and Kaelin Clay, receiver/return specialist, returned a 60-yard punt despite the Jets’ onfield defenders who had efficiently contained Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense for three quarters. Newton finished 11 of 28 for 168 yards with 28 yards rushing on nine carries, including a one-yard touchdown run.
“At the end of the day, we found ways to win the football game, and that’s what you have to have,” said Newton, unapologetically. “You have to have those types of characteristics and those genetics to grind out a win.”
A questionable call also decided the Jets’ fortunes. A one-yard touchdown catch by tightend Austin Seferian-Jenkins was overturned by video review when it was determined that he didn’t maintain control of the ball. His thoughts about the call? “I dropped it based upon what the refs said,” said Seferian-Jenkins in an unadmitted attempt to take the high road.
“We fight and do the right things for three quarters, then for about one quarter in about five minutes, we let the game get out of hand,” explained Jets head coach Todd Bowles as he summed up Sunday’s Panthers game, another loss this season that the 4-7 Jets had an opportunity to win. Bowles added, “We lost our composure at times for a brief moment, and that’s all it takes to lose a ballgame.”
The Jets play again at home Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. The game 6-5 Chiefs started the season off at the top of their game but are currently on a three-game losing streak. To improve their situation, Kansas City signed former Jets cornerback Derrell Revis for some assistance. This game will be Revis’ first onfield appearance since the Jets’ last game of the 2016-17 season.