The Jets were rolling in the second quarter Sunday night against the Chiefs when coach Robert Saleh was faced with a difficult fourth-down decision.
The Jets had fourth-and-1 at the Chiefs 34 with 30 seconds left.
They took their first timeout to discuss the situation and ultimately decided to try a 52-yard field goal.
Greg Zuerlein missed the kick, hitting the right upright, and the Jets went into halftime trailing the Chiefs, 20-12.
The Jets ended up losing, 23-20.
There was an argument to go for the first down with how the Jets offense was moving the ball.
A touchdown before halftime with the Jets getting the ball first in the second half would have been a huge momentum boost.
“Fourth-and-1, 30 seconds left, on the 34-yard line, just talking it over after the timeout, even if you get the first down, you’re heavy, heavy, heavy, you’re going to end up having to take a field goal anyway,” Saleh said. “So, you’re really just trying to get to fourth-and-1 to kick a field goal anyway. We felt like we were in good range for [Zuerlein], get points, start the second half with the ball and lap them. In that situation, it was more even if we convert, we’re going to end up kicking a field goal anyway.”
The Chiefs got the ball back with 26 seconds remaining after the Zuerlein miss.
Even that little time is scary when Patrick Mahomes has the ball in his hands, but Mahomes threw an interception to C.J. Mosley on the first play of the drive.
The Jets got the ball back for one last drive in the half but could not move it past midfield.