The Jets Have a Zach Wilson Dilemma

The Jets Have a Zach Wilson Dilemma
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Zach Wilson may have had the worst game of his career on Sunday. Against the New England Patriots, Wilson went 9-22 for 77 yards. The more pitiful part is that the offense only mustered two yards of total offense in the second half. And the MOST pitiful part is that the New York Jets lost 10-3, the one touchdown being on a game-ending punt return touchdown by Marcus Jones. This game has left a lot of questions about the young quarterback, and it is not looking promising for him or the Jets.

Zach Wilson On the Field

This was a big game for the Jets. They entered Sunday at 6-3, looking to keep pace in a hotly contested AFC East against a 5-4 Patriots team. However, the Patriots are a team that has given Wilson headaches during his short career, including a four-interception performance in September 2021. Unfortunately for him and the Jets, the trend continued on Sunday. Wilson only completed nine passes and had several bad misses. Specifically, one miss where Denzel Mims was wide open for a walk-in touchdown near the red zone. However, Wilson never throws it his way despite looking his way, as he scrambled out of bounds. This debatably became the biggest play of the game, as the Jets struggled to move the ball for a lot of the game.

Overall, Zach Wilson has not seen the second-year leap that Jets staff and fans would like. His season got off to a rough start after suffering a knee injury in the preseason, missing the first three games of the season. In seven games, he is only completing 55.6% of his passes for 1,279 yards, four touchdowns, and five interceptions. His 72.6 passer rating is second worst in the NFL, only behind Pittsburgh rookie Kenny Pickett.

The Postgame

As bad as his game was on the field, the postgame press conference is the bigger story. Wilson was asked if he felt that the offense let the defense down, and his response was a flat “no.” In contrast, head coach Robert Saleh said that the offense was “dog —-.” Receiver Garrett Wilson similarly lamented that the offense was terrible. As a result, rumblings have emerged that teammates are angry about both Wilson’s comment and attitude. SNY’s Connor Hughes reported that defensive players were annoyed by Wilson carrying himself like he had no culpability in the loss.

“Sources inside the Jets’ losing locker room told SNY that Wilson was walking around after the game ‘like he isn’t the problem.’ It rubbed more than a few the wrong way, frustrating several others,” Hughes stated. “And that was before his words began to spread like wildfire.”

Keep in mind, the Jets are in the middle of the playoff hunt. Although they are in last place in the division, they have the same record as the seventh-seed Cincinnati Bengals. In an ugly loss such as this, the worst-case scenario is that this splits the locker room into two factions. Whether or not this happens remains to be seen, but Zach Wilson has to know better as a leader than to put the team in this predicament. The New York Jets are a team that has exceeded expectations in 2022, but Zach Wilson needs to grow up if he wishes to grow with the team. Not just on the field, but as a leader as well.

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