Home | Articles | Analytics | Zach Wilson’s accuracy numbers stoop to new personal lows

Zach Wilson’s accuracy numbers stoop to new personal lows

Zach Wilson, NY Jets, Saints, Accuracy, Stats, PFF
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Getty Images

The Zach Wilson roller-coaster reaches its biggest drop yet

Zach Wilson‘s post-injury-return run was off to a nice start.

In his second game back, Wilson earned Rookie of the Week honors with a three-touchdown game against the Eagles that was arguably his best performance of the season. He built upon a decent return game against the Texans in which he showed improvement in fundamental areas but struggled with accuracy, maintaining the fundamental progress while improving his accuracy to season-best levels.

In the spirit of his wildly erratic rookie season, Wilson tumbled down to new lows just one week later.

Wilson completed 19 of 42 passes for 202 yards in a 30-9 loss to the Saints. His 45.2% completion rate is a new career low.

Even when you contextualize Wilson’s output, this still stands out as his least accurate game as a professional.

After adjusting Wilson’s stats for drops (3), throwaways (3), and batted passes (1), he still posted an adjusted completion percentage of only 57.9%.

That is the worst mark of Wilson’s career and his first sub-60% display. His previous career-low was 60.9%, set against the Houston Texans just two weeks ago.

Wilson’s 57.9% adjusted completion percentage was fourth-worst among 27 qualified quarterbacks in Week 14 (pre-Monday Night Football), but the three quarterbacks who ranked behind him – Kirk Cousins (55.2%), P.J. Walker (50.0%), and Taylor Heinicke (50.0%) – all attempted much more difficult passes.

Walker, Cousins, and Heinicke ranked second, third, and fourth, respectively, in average depth of target (aDOT) in Week 14, each throwing over 11.0 yards downfield on their average pass. So, it’s understandable that they were on-target on fewer passes. They were chucking the ball downfield.

Wilson, meanwhile, ranked only 17th in aDOT, passing the ball only 7.5 yards downfield on average. He played with only an average level of aggressiveness and still hit his target at an abysmal level of consistency.

Of the bottom-10 quarterbacks in aDOT this week, Wilson not only had the worst adjusted completion percentage, but he was lightyears behind everyone else. The gap between him and the second-worst player of the bunch – Josh Allen (75.0%) – was a whopping 17.1%. That is larger than the gap between Allen and the top-ranked player in the group (Patrick Mahomes, 90.9%, 15.9% ahead of Allen).

New York Jets, Jets X-Factor

Wilson has come back from his injury playing much safer football than he did to begin the year, showing an improved willingness to take underneath throws. His aDOT over the past three weeks is 7.5 compared to 9.1 over his first six starts.

However, the change in playstyle is not paying dividends since he is converting the easy short throws as often as many other quarterbacks hit the difficult deep throws.

When the quarterback plays a safe brand of football, he is supposed to make up for the decrease in explosiveness (compared to a more aggressive style of play) with an increase in consistency. If the quarterback is going to be hit-or-miss on throws that yield minimal yardage and are designed to shred the defense by being completed over and over again, the offense is not going to go anywhere.

Getting better at throwing accurately on the easy throws remains the primary goal for Wilson, just as it has been all year. With each passing week that Wilson continues to botch the same layups, it continues to feel more and more likely that substantial progress in his game cannot happen until he gets an entire offseason to hone in on his mechanics and psyche.

Want More Jet X?

Subscribe to become a Jet X Member to unlock every piece of Jets X-Factor content (film breakdowns, analytics, Sabo with the Jets, etc.), get audio versions of each article, receive the ability to comment within our community, and experience an ad-free platform experience.

Download the free Jet X Mobile App to get customizable notifications directly to your iOS (App Store) or Android (Google Play) device.

Sign up for Jet X Daily, our daily newsletter that's delivered to your inbox every morning at 8:00 a.m. ET.

Add Jets X-Factor to your Google News feed and/or find us on Apple News to stay updated with the New York Jets.

Follow us on X (Formerly Twitter) @jetsxfactor for all the latest New York Jets news, Facebook for even more, Instagram for some of the top NY Jets images, and YouTube for original Jets X-Factor videos.

Related Articles

About the Author

More From Author


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Richard Hausig
2 years ago

I thought he looked caught in between trying to be safe and knowing when to let it rip. I actually feel bad for him at this point, its the same old problem, bad footwork that cascades into screwing up everything else he does. I give him credit for staying positive but that’s BS. This gets more mental by the game because he’s in way over his head. You cannot play QB in the NFL without having fundamentally sound footwork. Its like the WR who can’t run the full route tree. Any misstep can throw off the timing of the play. That’s why the offense doesn’t work when he’s running it.

2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

I want to like this guy but really, other than being selected with the second overall pick in the draft what has he shown over the entire season that would make anyone think he’ll be a good pro, forget about franchise QB? I don’t see it, and I’m sorry to say I don’t think he will ever get there. It’s taking way too long to see improvement. He’s doing things never done in history for franchise QB types, and I mean doing bad things.

Richard Hausig
2 years ago
Reply to  Jets71

That’s exactly what I didn’t want to say. There’s no, it, to his game. I’m not a scout but you don’t need to be to see how unpolished and clumsy he looks. To hear him say that, accuracy has never been an issue, tells me he’s really good at PR or he has no idea what he’s gotten himself into.

But this is on the coaches and JD too. You have to know you CAN coach up this player and they have failed him in that. Why was there no vet backup? Because they knew he couldn’t beat the vet out. It makes no sense to sit him now, better you cut down the playbook and focus on reps over and over. Run run run and let him be a manager. Roll him out more and encourage him to run after the 2nd progression. That’s what Buffalo did with Allen at first and it will help Tinkerbell here too. I feel like he thinks this is a video game, increase arm strength, study the playbook and you get better but that he doesn’t understand the basic principles of playing the position.

Richard Hausig
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

I felt like you were high on him coming in, I know you are positive in general, but seems like now you’re really down on him.

The bigger question to me is, what is up with Joe D. I thought the first draft was well executed, didn’t love the second but I thought we could trust him. Im hoping it’s bad coaching, I guess… And I’m sure it was with Gase but this coach won’t even play most JDs 2020 picks. We gotta do better than this.

2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

You are 100% correct this is a mental problem and I’m not sure it can be fixed with footwork. He’s a mental disaster right now, for many reasons and quite honestly he should be playing better, regardless of his rookie status. These are elementary NFL throws, it’s not like he’s being asked to complete every tight window throw 15 yards down field. Even the passes he does complete are bad throws by NFL standards. This is a major problem and I am not sure he’s got the mental capacity to overcome it.