Fourth-and-2 is not usually a situation that would warrant a quarterback sneak. If it were one yard or inches, then by all means, have at it. Two yards to go, though? It’s a little bold to just push it forward with the quarterback.
But that’s what the New York Jets did Sunday afternoon as they blew their game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Turns out, it was the wrong play call. As in, quarterback Zach Wilson was given the wrong play call.
The Jets nearly upset the reigning Super Bowl champs at the Meadowlands. Up 24-20 with 2:12 left in the game, New York had a fourth-and-2 on Tampa’s 7-yard line. The Jets called a timeout to talk things over, then Wilson ran out and tried a quarterback sneak. He was stuffed and the Bucs got the ball back, allowing Tom Brady to drive 93 yards to score the game-winning touchdown.
Jets coach Robert Saleh said he was “sick” about what happened, only to reveal it was actually supposed to be an end-around to Brady’s former New England Patriots teammate, Braxton Berrios.
“(Our players) deserved better,” Saleh said after the game, via ESPN. “We won that game, and we’ve got to be better for our players. … We’ve got to be better as a coaching staff in terms of communicating and making sure everything we want is exactly the way that it needs to be done,” Saleh said. “That’s a first down to Berrios and we’re talking about something completely different.”
While Saleh did not specifically point to offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur as the reason things went sideways, he said all you needed to know when indicating that “It’s Mike to Zach,” when communicating a play.
The Jets’ season already was lost, but securing that win would’ve been a great way for New York to enter the final week of the campaign.