Mike White, Braxton Berrios take blame for critical missed touchdown


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MINNEAPOLIS — A win slipped right through the Jets’ hands on Sunday — or more specifically, through Braxton Berrios’ hands.

The usually sure-handed wideout could not pull in Mike White’s fourth-and-goal pass from the Minnesota 1-yard line for what would have been the go-ahead touchdown with 1:43 remaining in the game. Instead, the ball fell to the turf as Berrios tried to pull it in and the Jets lost, 27-22 to the Vikings.

“He put the ball there,” Berrios said. “I’ve got to make that play.”

The Jets got one more shot at scoring a game-winning touchdown, but the chance they will look back on and regret blowing is that 1-yard pass to Berrios. White credited Berrios with altering his route on the play when he recognized a hole in the Minnesota defense. The quarterback also blamed himself for not putting the throw out in front of Berrios.

“I gotta figure out how to put that ball a tad more in front of him and let him securely make the catch instead of making a tough catch,” White said.

Berrios dismissed the idea that White was at fault.

Braxton Berrios (l.) shows his frustration after now catching the potential game-winning TD pass.
Getty Images

“That’s not on him. That’s on me,” Berrios said. “It’s fourth down. He has everything in his face, the rush coming. He’s seeing bodies flying everywhere. He put it where I should have got it. That one’s on me.”

The Jets did a pretty good job against Vikings star WR Justin Jefferson, but they could not hold him down all day. Jefferson finished with seven catches for 45 yards and one touchdown on 11 targets. The Jets used a variety of defensive backs on the third-year star, but D.J. Reed got the most time against him.

Reed, who said he woke up with fluid in his chest and was taking oxygen all game, gave up the touchdown to Jefferson on a 10-yard pass with 8:43 left to play.

“I was in his s–t all game,” Reed said. “He got that one route me, so I’m frustrated. I felt like I did a great job containing him. It’s just frustrating because I don’t want to give up a touchdown. I don’t want to be the reason why my team loses.”

The Jets benched RT Max Mitchell in the second quarter and replaced him with George Fant, who was activated off injured reserve on Saturday.

“Felt like he was struggling a little bit,” head coach Robert Saleh said of Mitchell. “So just trying to get George out there.”

Fant was called for a killer penalty in the third quarter when he committed a block in the back, which moved the Jets from the Vikings’ 6-yard line back to the 16. They ended up kicking a field goal.

RB Michael Carter was inactive with an ankle injury. Rookie Zonovan Knight made his first NFL start in Carter’s place. He rushed 15 times for 90 yards and added five catches for 28 yards.


Vikings safety Camryn Bynum ended the game with interception of Mike White at the goal line on fourth down with 10 seconds left.


Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios had a chance to be the hero on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line with 1:46 left and the Jets trailing by five points. White threw a quick pass to him that hit Berrios in the hands, but he could not hold onto the ball.

Unsung Hero

Kicker Greg Zuerlein was 5-for-5 on field goals Sunday, including a franchise-record 60-yarder before halftime. The Jets could not get in the end zone, but Zuerlein kept them alive with his kicks.

Key Stat

The Jets got to the red zone six times and came away with one touchdown. That was the story of the game in a five-point loss.


“Today was the definition of a game of inches, over and over and over,” — Jets WR Garrett Wilson, who stepped out of bounds at the 11 after gaining 60 yards on a reception early in the fourth quarter.

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