Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Reviewing Zach Wilson’s best game as a pro

The New York Jets won their first game of the season on Sunday behind a stellar performance from rookie quarterback Zach Wilson.

Wilson finished with a career-high 297 passing yards and threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the game and then take the lead.

One hundred and seven of those yards came on just two throws: a 54-yard pass to Kelan Cole and a 53-yard touchdown to Corey Davis. In both plays, Wilson flashed his playmaking ability by rolling out to buy time before launching bombs downfield.

He also came through in the clutch, converting a third down in overtime with a 29-yard teardrop to Cole on the game-winning drive. After two rough-looking games, Zach Wilson silenced the critics with a major statement game.

“The Kid,” as head coach Robert Saleh called him in the locker room after the game, was the star of the show. However, the Jets’ offensive explosion was a complete team effort.

The offensive line was solid from start to finish, allowing only one sack on the day. The group kept Wilson clean, and it allowed him to fire downfield for big gains. Even in the face of disaster, when Wilson dropped a snap at the start of the fourth quarter, the line held up long enough for Wilson to recover and find Jamison Crowder for a 29-yard gain.

Rookie left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker had his best game as a pro, allowing zero pressures on the day. The tackles, Morgan Moses and George Fant, combined for just three pressures allowed.

The big men up front did their part, but without a great effort from the receivers, it would’ve been for nothing.

Corey Davis got revenge on his former team, grabbing four passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Keelan Cole had his best game as a Jet, racking up 92 yards at over 30 yards per catch. Jamison Crowder was excellent in his return from injury, catching a team-high seven passes for 61 yards and a score.

In total, the Jets’ top three wideouts had 14 catches for 264 yards and two touchdowns, 89 percent of Wilson’s final output. With Elijah Moore likely returning against Atlanta, the group should only get better.

Not to be overshadowed by the offense’s big day, the defense was absolutely suffocating.

The Jets’ defense sacked Titans’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill seven times. Six different Jets registered at least a half-sack. Tannehill was under pressure on nearly a third of his total dropbacks.

Quinnen Williams led the team with two sacks, his second-straight game with more than one. John Franklin-Meyers topped the team in pressures with a jaw-dropping nine. Bryce Huff had the best game of his career, landing one and a half sacks and six pressures.

As good as the defensive line was, the best player on the field was linebacker C.J. Mosley.

Mosley notched a team-leading 13 tackles, his third straight game over double-digits. He was a force in the run game, making five tackles on Titans back Derrick Henry for four yards or less. Despite losing weight in the offseason, Mosley is just as powerful and strong as ever.

Mosley’s best plays were not just examples of great athleticism but great intelligence, too.

Early in the first quarter, Mosley recognized his coverage responsibility, Henry, remained home to block, and in turn, blitzed the pocket for a sack. Mosley’s quick diagnosis allowed him to come through untouched for a free shot at Tannehill. Later in the game, Mosley made a defensive adjustment to get off the field on third down.

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The Titans aligned in a bunch receiver set pre-snap and planned to run a slant route to get the first, as they had done more than once earlier in the game. Mosley, however, identified the formation and changed the play to zone coverage.

The coverage switch worked and caused Tannehill to hitch, providing just enough time for the defensive line to bring him down. After the game, Saleh said that Mosley made this check all by himself, without approval from the coaches, and it paid off immensely.

The Oklahoma Drill Podcast is back with a review of the Jets’ first win against the Titans and lays out the game plan for a win in London against the Falcons.

While all victories are worth celebrating, sustained success is the goal and the Jets should view their first win as a building block, rather than a flash in the pan. Luckily, a reeling Falcons team presents an opportunity to continue the growth and start a winning streak.

If all goes well, the Jets will be flying high going into the bye week.

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Andrew Golden is a film analyst for Jets X-Factor with a focus on the NFL Draft, prospect evaluations and breaking down scheme fits. He also co-hosts the Oklahoma Drill Podcast with Vitor Paiva and Matt Mauro. Email: agoldenjets[at]
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