The New York Jets offensive line must improve, but Zach Wilson absolves it for the six-sack opener
Zach Wilson and the New York Jets are looking for some stability after last weekend’s 19-14 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Panthers. They’re riding the momentum of a respectable second half that saw them outscore Carolina 14-3.
Wilson was responsible for all 14 points via two six-pointers to Corey Davis and running in a two-point conversion after the first. He recovered from a tough first half to post sterling numbers over the final 30 minutes, completing 14-of-21 passes for 194 yards, good for a 127.9 passer rating.
The BYU product had to earn his strong second half the hard way: he was sacked six times on Sunday and took several other hits, leaving him with “whiplash” that he has since downgraded to “typical soreness.”
But the road gets no easier with Mekhi Becton out for at least the next four weeks. George Fant is expected to take over Becton’s blindside duties with Morgan Moses subbing in Fant’s normal role on the right.
Despite the criticism leveled toward the Jets’ blocking throughout the week, Wilson absolved the unit, chalking first half inefficiency in Charlotte to a team effort, primarily pointing the finger at himself for the struggles.
“It’s such a team game, right? There’s sometimes where I’m going to bail them out and there’s sometimes where they’re going to bail me out,” Wilson said.
Zach Wilson said that he has to get the ball off quicker, when those six Panthers sacks were brought up.
"That’s what’s so cool about football, right? … that it’s a team game."
He communicates that there will be times the OL bails him out and he helps cover up OL woes. #Jets
— Robby Sabo (@RobbySabo) September 16, 2021
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“I think that’s where it goes hand-in-hand. The first sack that I took where I got pumped and try to throw it over to the left. We’re in a five-man pro, the backs are releasing, that’s my guy. I got to throw that, that’s not on the O-line. Later in the game, maybe they miss a pass (protection) or whatever and I get out of the pocket and make a play on something.
“It goes hand-in-hand and so, that’s kind of why it’s a little bit skewed as far as just like, six sacks (being) all on the O-line. It’s definitely teamwide and, for one, me just getting the ball out quicker, understanding that those guys are all teeing off upfront and how can I just help those guys out and get the ball out of my hands.”
Wilson’s Jets (0-1) will look to turn around their protection woes at MetLife Stadium against the Patriots (0-1) on Sunday afternoon (1 p.m. ET, CBS).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags