Zach Wilson, NY Jets, Film Breakdown
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Getty Images, Jet X Graphic

Despite not lasting long, it’s safe to say that Zach Wilson’s preseason debut left some concerning signs

Well, it happened. The biggest fear that surrounded the mind of every New York Jets fan materialized last Friday in Philly: Zach Wilson got hurt in a meaningless preseason game.

Worse: Wilson hurt his knee on a non-contact play. That led to multiple instant tweets by Twitter doctors guaranteeing that Wilson’s season came to an end, with a supposed ACL tear.

Boom. Season over. Flacco time. Wilson’s evaluation would have to be postponed to 2023, while the youngsters would have “only” a learning year in 2022.

That narrative lasted for less than a day.

Fortunately for the Jets, most of the Twitter doctors were wrong in the end. Wilson will miss only a few weeks with a bone bruise and a meniscus injury, according to multiple reports.

Despite the unpleasant news that any injury represents, the fact that Wilson will be back is a gift (such as every other day in Tony Soprano’s life, post-Junior-shot, whatever happened there). It’s rare to see no contact knee injuries end with a “happy ending”, i.e., without ligament damage. Wilson and the Jets dodged a bullet.

Still, the fact that Wilson will be back soon forces Jets fans to make a very unpleasant exercise: go back to the game itself, analyze it, and, ultimately, come to grips with the fact that Wilson didn’t perform well.

While it’s common to say that preseason events should be taken with a grain of salt, that applies more to good news, because everything is supposed to be easier. Defenses are less complex, the intensity of the game is lower and the atmosphere is more similar to practice than to real games, if we are being honest.

Zach’s performance in last year’s preseason is an indicator that those games, in the end, are not the best indicators of development.

On the other hand, though, some bad preseason performances warrant turning the red lights on. The BYU product didn’t have that kind of a game, but by no means it was an encouraging outing.

There were some glaring bad plays, such as the interception and the incompletion to Garrett Wilson. But there were also positive ones, and it’s clear that the offense is still a work in progress. Some routes shouldn’t be where they are, protection, etc. The video below shows that.

Wilson had a limited sample size, indeed. The former second overall pick didn’t have the opportunity to drive down the field and score after the pick.

But there is one bottom line, and one only: Wilson’s performance left a bitter taste in the mouths of Jets fans, who now won’t be able to see their savior try to make up for it until the regular season comes.

Insecure Jets fans, right now, are not out of place. Still, there’s hope that these six reps (i) are not an indication of where Wilson is at in his progress, and (ii) that No. 2 can benefit from sitting back a bit, realizing that not everything depends on him – which will help him to play more relaxed.

Everything you need to know about Wilson’s short preseason outing is broken down in the video below.

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A former quarterback, Vitor Paiva wants to showcase a deep analysis of what's really happening on the field, showcasing what's really on the mind of a football player during a play, in his Sidearm Session. Email: vitorpaivagon[at]gmail.com
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Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago

I said a few weeks ago that we would see right away if Peter Pan had been working on his faults during the off-season. But in Peter Pan’s fairy tale world no one has to work on anything. It’s a fairy tale! Things just work out.

Sadly this is the NFL, not a fairy tale, but he doesn’t understand that. Not sliding on that play is a microcosm of who this player is. His football awareness is as bad as his self awareness and his self awareness… but let’s not go there.

He’s in so far over his head it’s reminiscent of of another legendary #2, JaMarcus Russell. JaMarcus had other issues too, but if one thing is for sure they both play like number two. 😜 I want to hate him but that’s not fair, he’s just not a mature person and it’s not his fault JD picked him where he did.

There is a story about him and the college roommate (not sure if it’s the same one his ex is dating) coming home from school to study. But Zach wouldn’t study until he beat the roommate at ping pong. Play first study later, or never. Whatever! That Jet fans, is your franchise QB, Peter Pan.

On a lighter note, pretty sure whenever DeShaun Watson slides he makes sure it has a happy ending. But since this is a family website I’m going to refrain from telling you what happens after he scores a TD.