Analyzing what went wrong on Zach Wilson’s sacks in Buffalo
The last game of Zach Wilson’s rookie campaign was a subpar performance that had a lot to do with the supporting cast around him.
The New York Jets offensive line, filled with backups, was porous. Wilson’s favorite receivers – Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Braxton Berrios – were out due to injury, while Jamison Crowder left in the second quarter. And, on top of it all, the Buffalo Bills deploy one of the best coverage units in football.
Combined, these three factors were the reasons behind the horrific box score stats Wilson put forth: 7 of 20 for 87 yards with eight sacks for 79 yards. (Buffalo tallied nine sacks in total, with one coming on a Jamison Crowder trick play.)
Still, a simple look at box score stats isn’t enough to truly evaluate what Wilson did. Context is everything, and when considering it, Wilson’s performance becomes much closer to being “OK” than “bad”.
Wilson could’ve done better despite all of the chaos around him, there is no question about it. There were some tight-window throws to be made that he did not, but it’s hard to criticize Zach for not making them.
The quarterback position is all about confidence, and Wilson didn’t trust most of the guys that were running routes against Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, and the rest of Buffalo’s elite defense.
Nonetheless, as bad as the box score is, Wilson’s last game as a rookie was not nearly as bad as some others before his injury. The scenery was dire, but Zach didn’t look like an overthinking machine on every play. He still looked in command.
Sometimes things are exactly what they look like: Wilson faced one of the toughest defenses in the league, on the road, without most of his fellow starters. It was tough sledding.
Despite that, Wilson was still able to make a few very nice plays. His touchdown pass to Keelan Cole was impressive – challenging a tight window on a Cover 1 Robber look. Zach also had a couple of tight window completions on the left sideline.
It was a game that left Jets fans wanting more, especially after seeing Wilson’s unquestionable growth in the backend of the 2021 season. With a promising offseason ahead, 2022’s league year can’t come soon enough.
Below is our last Sidearm Session of the 2021 season. I break down all of Wilson’s sacks and his touchdown to Keelan Cole.
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