Zach Wilson, NY Jets, Grade, Stats, Film, Highlights, Review, Breakdown, Patriots, 2022
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Getty Images

How did NY Jets QB Zach Wilson grade against the New England Patriots?

Our QB Grades series continues with Zach Wilson‘s fifth start of the 2022 season.

Wilson was largely blamed as the primary culprit for the New York Jets’ 22-17 loss to the New England Patriots. The second-year passer launched a trio of ghastly interceptions that cost the Jets a victory.

However, the box score claims that Wilson was pretty good outside of the interceptions. Wilson threw for 355 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Did Wilson’s three interceptions mask an otherwise good performance? Or was Wilson actually much worse than his gaudy yardage total lets on?

The QB Grades exist to answer questions like those.

Before we get into Wilson’s performance, check out the explanation and glossary below if you are unfamiliar with how my QB Grades series works.

Explanation

My goal with this grading system is to capture the true quality of the quarterback’s performance. Box score statistics are usually misleading, as they do not account for a variety of factors that determine whether a quarterback performed well or poorly on a given play.

After re-watching each play on the All-22 film, I grade it on a 0-to-10 scale. Once I’m finished grading each play, I take the average of all plays to form a 0-to-100 overall score with 50 being approximately league-average (based on my studying of numerous other quarterback performances across the league).

Here are just a handful of the primary factors that are taken into account in the grading of each play, and a basic description of what I’m looking for:

  • Decision-making (Did the QB choose the best available option or did he leave a better play on the field? Regardless of if a ball is intercepted or not, did the QB put the ball in danger of being intercepted?)
  • Throw difficulty (Clean pocket or pressured? Wide open or tight window? Stationary or on the move? More difficult throws are more valuable.)
  • Accuracy/placement (Even if the pass is completed, was the ball placed in the best possible spot or did the receiver have to make an extra effort to catch it? Was the ball placed in a spot that maximized YAC? Did the QB protect his receiver from a big hit?)
  • Game situation – score, time, field position, down and distance (Good decisions based on the clock/situation are crucial. Playing the sticks is also important – it is not a good play to complete a tightly covered 5-yard out on third-and-10 while a 15-yard dig is open, but a 5-yard out on third-and-4 is good.)

Ultimately, it’s all about context. Not all 40-yard completions are created equal. Not all interceptions are created equal. You need to watch a play to understand whether the quarterback did a good or bad job (and exactly how good or how bad it was). The raw result of a play cannot give you that answer.

When we analyze every play on film multiple times and grade the quarterback’s individual effort independent of his surroundings or the on-paper outcome of the play, we get a much better estimation of how well he actually played.

Of course, keep in mind that these grades are subjective. They are but one man’s opinion and are not intended to be viewed as gospel. Feel free to let me know your takes on my grades for these performances.

Glossary

For each performance, I include a few metrics that help explain how Wilson arrived at his final grade.

These are some of the metrics I will break down for every Wilson outing.

Overall grade: 0-to-100 grade based on the average score of all plays analyzed. An estimation of individual performance quality.

Positive plays: Number of plays graded above 5.0: above-average efforts.

Negative plays: Number of plays graded below 5.0: below-average efforts.

Neutral plays: Number of plays graded as a 5.0: plays that are not noticeably good or bad. These are typically lost plays or plays in which the QB can hardly be evaluated: screens, batted passes, miscommunications, and unavoidable sacks are commonly graded as a 5.0.

Positive/negative ratio: Ratio of positive plays to negative plays. Defines the quarterback’s consistency level.

Average positive score: The average score of all positive plays. An indicator of how high the quarterback’s peaks were — a higher score indicates his best plays were often highlight-reel-worthy while a lower score indicates that his best plays were typically unspectacular.

Average negative score: The average score of all negative plays. An indicator of how low the quarterback’s valleys were — a higher score indicates his mistakes were typically minor while a lower score indicates that his mistakes were typically brutal.

Wow Factor: Combination of average positive score and average negative score. An indicator of the combined ability to produce outstanding moments and avoid big mistakes.

7+ plays: Number of plays graded 7.0 or better: elite moments. Big-time plays, if you will.

≤3 plays: Number of plays graded 3.0 or worse: brutal moments. The ones that make Jets fans throw things at their TV.

Zach Wilson’s Grade vs. New England Patriots

Let’s dig into everything that went into my 0-to-100 grade for Zach Wilson‘s second disastrous home game against Bill Belichick.

This was a puzzling game for Jets fans to evaluate. Wilson threw some horrible interceptions. But he also had some great plays. With both things in mind, how did Wilson ultimately perform on an overall level? Was he average? Below-average? Bad?

Time to hop in.

  • Nania’s Overall Grade: 21.0 – (Average: 50, Great: 60+, Elite: 70+, Poor: <40, Awful: <30)
  • Plays graded: 41
  • Neutral plays: 5
  • Positive plays: 21 (51.2%) – (Average: 50%, Phenomenal: >60%, Poor: <40%)
  • Negative plays: 15 (36.6%) – (Average: 30%, Phenomenal: <20%, Poor: >40%)
  • Positive-negative ratio: 1.40 –  (Average: 2.00, Phenomenal: 3.00+, Poor: <1.00)
  • Average positive: 5.79 – (Average: 5.90, High: 6.00+, Low: <5.80)
  • Average negative: 2.82 – (Average: 3.80, High: 4.00+, Low: <3.60)
  • Wow factor: 8.61 – (Average: 9.70, High: 10.00+, Low: <9.40)
  • 7+ plays: 4 (9.8%) – (Average: 8%, Phenomenal: >12%, Poor: <4%)
  • ≤3 plays: 9 (22.0%) – (Average: 8%, Phenomenal: <4%, Poor: >12%)
  • Box score stats: 20/41 for 355 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT (8.7 Y/A, 64.6 QB rating). 2 sacks for 19 yards. 1 rush for 2 yards.

I landed on an overall grade of 21.0 for Wilson. It was the worst grade I have ever given him across his 18 career games.

Trust me, I know what you’re thinking: “How on earth could that have been Wilson’s worst game? Yes, he made some egregious blunders, but he also had some excellent moments.”

I completely agree with the latter portion of that sentiment! This was one of the wackiest quarterback performances I’ve watched, because Wilson did sprinkle in quite a few impressive plays amidst all of his mistakes. We’ll see some of them in the film review later on.

And, overall, Wilson’s consistency wasn’t atrocious. It certainly wasn’t good, but I’ve seen much worse from him in that department.

So here’s why I view this performance as such a brutal one despite the occasional good moments: the severity of Wilson’s mistakes.

When Wilson was bad, he was really, really bad.

In the list above, you can see that I graded Wilson with an average score of 2.82 on his negative plays. That is outrageously terrible. It indicates that his lows were very low.

Not only is it the worst number of Wilson’s career by a wide margin (previous low was 3.40), but it’s lower than any average negative score I gave to Sam Darnold across his 38 career games with the Jets. (Darnold did have 5 games with a worse overall grade than Wilson’s 21.0, though.)

You can also see that I graded Wilson with a score of 3.0 or worse (plays I consider to be very bad) on a whopping total of 9 plays, making up 22% of all his plays in this game. Both the total and the percentage are career-worsts for Wilson.

That number right there (the total of 9 “very bad” plays) is what I think represents the difference between perception and reality. Many fans are convinced that the 3 interceptions are the only baffling mishaps Wilson made in this game.

Unfortunately, that is not the truth. Upon reviewing the film, it is revealed that Wilson made far more mistakes that most people realized (myself included) when they watched the game live.

Even if you take out the three interceptions, I scored Wilson with a subpar grade of 40.5 for the rest of the game. For reference, that is slightly lower than my grade for his Packers game (41.7). So, in my opinion, he was still underwhelming outside of the turnovers.

In addition to the interceptions, Wilson had a boatload of awful plays in which a receiver was open and he failed to capitalize, whether it be due to inaccuracy, poor field vision, or bailing the pocket early. We’ll see many of these blown opportunities in the film review portion.

Although Wilson ended up with 355 yards (though 95 of those came on the Jets’ final drive and another 23 came on a glorified handoff to Garrett Wilson), I think he should have had more. The Jets’ offense was that good at creating opportunities. On many drives, Wilson would make a good pass or two to get the Jets moving, and then he would cause the drive to stall by missing wide open receivers. I think these kinds of sequences are why he ended up with a good number of yards despite playing poorly on the whole.

I think Wilson left a lot of meat on the bone. The Jets’ weapons were doing a great job of separating while offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur was scheming receivers open all game long. As for the Jets’ offensive line, while they certainly were not good, they were respectable enough for Wilson to be far more productive than he was. Too often, Wilson makes the quality of the blocking look worse than it actually is.

After a promising two-game start to his second season, I have graded Wilson with a sub-50.0 grade in three consecutive games for the first time in his career.

Following this cold streak, Wilson’s season-long grade for the 2022 campaign has plunged to 42.0, which is 5.6 points lower than the 47.6 grade I gave him in his rookie year. That’s not a good sign.

Zach-Wilson-Grades-Stats-NY-Jets-2022

Zach Wilson’s film vs. New England Patriots

Let’s take a look at some of the key plays from Wilson’s performance against New England.

For each play in the breakdown, I’ll list the grade I gave him for that play. Anything above 5.0 is positive and helps push his overall game grade above 50.0, and vice versa for anything below 5.0.

2nd & 5 – Qtr: 1, (14:19) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass incomplete short right to Mi.Carter.

It’s second-and-5 on the Jets’ second play of the game, and Wilson blows an easy opportunity at a first down and a big chunk of yardage – seemingly due to a pre-determined decision.

Wilson checks the middle of the field and then immediately flips his head to Michael Carter in the flat, making the throw despite Carter being tightly covered and not having the leverage to get anywhere past the line of scrimmage.

It’s as if Wilson assumed the edge defender on that side would rush, leaving Carter open in the flat, but he never actually checked to confirm that before deciding to throw. Wilson starts his windup before he even looks at Carter; while he is in the process of turning his head to the left. He misfires anyway, but Carter would not have gone anywhere even if completed.

Meanwhile, Wilson ignores a wide open Garrett Wilson on a slant from the right side. Zach skips straight past reading Garrett on his way to Carter in the flat.

It’s hard to get receivers that wide open in the NFL – especially the best playmaker on your team. When it happens, you can’t miss it. This is a substantial mistake in my opinion. It ended up being costly as Wilson misfired on a deep shot to Denzel Mims on the next play, and the Jets went three-and-out. Grade: 3.0

3rd & 5 – Qtr: 1, (11:23) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass short left to T.Conklin pushed ob at NYJ 29 for 16 yards (J.Mills, D.McCourty).

Wilson sparked the Jets offense with this great scrambling play on third-and-5 to begin their second drive. Nothing is open, and pressure arrives through the left B-gap, so Wilson scrambles to his left to buy more time for his weapons. Tyler Conklin eventually separates, and Wilson flicks an accurate throw to Conklin for the first down.

This play is an example of the good that can come out of Wilson’s scrambling tendencies. It’s all about mastering the time and place to use those skills, and here, Wilson chose the right time and place. Grade: 7.0

1st & 10 – Qtr: 1, (10:47) Z.Wilson pass incomplete short left to T.Conklin.

Wilson was so erratic in the first quarter, alternating between awesome plays and head-scratching plays.

Here, Wilson misfires to an open Conklin from a clean pocket. Conklin has unlimited room over the top, as Garrett Wilson has the safety’s full attention and is carrying him deep, so Zach should softy loft this ball over the top and lead Conklin down the field, away from the underneath defender who is pursuing Conklin from behind.

Instead, Wilson leads Conklin toward the sideline and into the trailing defender, making the catch incredibly difficult. The placement is high-and-behind. Golden opportunity missed. Grade: 3.0

3rd & 5 – Qtr: 1, (10:03) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass deep right to G.Wilson to NE 12 for 54 yards (J.Mills).

Wilson quickly makes up for his miss to Conklin as he produces a big play on third down. He evades pressures coming in from the right side (allowed by Cedric Ogbuehi) and scrambles right.

Garrett wins on his out-and-up route, creating massive separation, and Zach drops the ball in. This play possibly could have gone for more yardage (or a TD) if Zach led him up the sideline instead of toward the middle, but considering the difficulty of the throw, you can’t complain too much. Great play. Grade: 7.0

2nd & 8 – Qtr: 1, (8:30) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass incomplete short middle to Mi.Carter (A.Phillips).

The Jets failed to punch the ball in after the Garrett bomb, primarily due to Wilson’s missed opportunities on second down.

First, I don’t know why Wilson does not take C.J. Uzomah in the flat. Uzomah has outside leverage on his defender and is a fantastic YAC player. Lead him toward the sideline where he can catch the ball and turn upfield. This could be a first down or a touchdown. At worst, it’s a nice chunk to set up third down. Trust your big tight end in a one-on-one situation with favorable leverage.

I’m already not a fan of Wilson passing on Uzomah, but what happens next is even more puzzling. Why is he backpedaling from a clean pocket? The protection here is great, but Wilson runs backward and takes his eyes off the routes.

In the midst of Wilson’s backpedaling, Michael Carter gets up after falling down on a block and is wide open over the middle for a possible touchdown. But since Wilson had his back turned, he does not recognize Carter until it’s too late, and the throw ends up being tightly contested.

There were plays to be made here. Grade: 3.0

3rd & 6 – Qtr: 2, (12:04) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass short left to T.Conklin for 8 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

The Jets put together a fantastic drive to close the first quarter, and Wilson topped it off with this needle-threading touchdown to Conklin. Perfect placement, and it comes under pressure, too. Grade: 7.0

3rd & 2 – Qtr: 2, (:48) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass short middle intended for T.Johnson INTERCEPTED by J.Bentley at NYJ 47. J.Bentley to NYJ 40 for 7 yards (T.Johnson, B.Berrios).

And so it begins.

Ty Johnson is open for a first down here, so the decision itself is not necessarily bad. It’s just the way that Wilson throws the ball. This is a terrible reaction to pressure. He fades away and throws off his back foot, airmailing the pass. Throwing in this fashion is always ill-advised, but it is especially true when targeting a route in the middle of the field. Feel free to airmail a sideline pass, but if you miss high over the middle, it’s fair game. You can’t miss high on these throws.

Once Wilson got rattled by the pressure, I would prefer to see him react by admitting defeat and chucking it at Johnson’s feet instead of going through with this attempt. However, Wilson could definitely have completed this pass if he stood tougher in the pocket. Hang tight, accept that you will get hit, and throw with proper mechanics. Step up in the pocket, not back.

It feels like we’ve been saying these things about Wilson every week. He’s afraid to get hit. That’s the harsh reality.

Wilson’s first quarter was erratic. After that, he got into a really nice groove in the second quarter. Altogether, I had him with a solid grade of 56.4 over his first 16 plays of the game prior to this late-Q2 interception.

But starting with this first interception, I had Wilson with a grade of -1.6 over his final 25 plays for the rest of the way. (Yes, negative. He broke my 0-100 scale.)

This pick began the Jets’ downfall. They had a 10-3 lead and were preparing to either extend that lead or take it into halftime. Instead, they gave the Patriots three free points going into the half, and it was all downhill from there.

A brutal interception at a brutal time. Grade: 2.0

1st & 10 – Qtr: 3, (10:58) (No Huddle) Z.Wilson pass deep right to T.Conklin to NE 26 for 27 yards (D.McCourty; J.Bentley).

Before things continued going downhill, Wilson actually started the second half with two good plays, particularly this one. Beautiful touch to loft this over the linebacker and hit Conklin. Grade: 6.5

2nd & 11 – Qtr: 3, (9:47) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass incomplete deep left to T.Conklin.

This is one of the sneaky bad plays that Wilson had. This should be a touchdown, or a big play at the very least. The Jets get a 3-on-2 on the right side of the field, and Uzomah ends up being wide open up the seam. Wilson never looks at the right side of the field. Once again, he starts leaving the pocket despite there being no imminent pressure. If he just stayed patient and scanned the whole field, he could have hit this.

Wilson ends up heaving a prayer into the end zone that has absolutely zero justification for being attempted, as Conklin’s man is underneath him (with two more defenders underneath, to boot). Luckily, the throw does not have enough mustard on it to give the defender a chance.

To top it all off, James Robinson is open on a short stop route to the left side – where Wilson is looking – and Wilson misses that, too. If Wilson hits this, he can at least save face with a positive gain to set up third-and-medium, but nope. He tries to do too much for the umpteenth time this year.

Your quarterback cannot keep letting open receivers go to waste like this. Grade: 2.0

2nd & 18 – Qtr: 3, (4:52) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass incomplete deep right.

On second-and-18, Wilson has plenty of time and space to hit an open Braxton Berrios over the middle, directly in his field of vision. It would set up a more manageable third down. For some reason, Wilson declines the option, and again leaves a clean pocket.

Wilson tries to buy time for something to break open, but nothing does, and he throws the ball away. While this is ultimately a harmless throwaway, I still do not like the decision-making process. Wilson comes way too close to running out of bounds here. You’re in your own end zone! It’s not worth the risk. He releases the ball just 0.24 seconds before his foot touches out of bounds. Incredibly risky.

The bad miss to Berrios is the primary crime on this play, though. Take the easy play, Zach. Stop trying to swing for the fences so often. Grade: 4.0

1st & 10 – Qtr: 3, (2:39) Z.Wilson pass short right INTERCEPTED by D.McCourty at NYJ 40. D.McCourty ran ob at NYJ 40 for no gain.

This is one of the worst interceptions you will see.

The Jets get Wilson a designed rollout, and he’s protected well thanks to a strong block from Uzomah.

First, Zach has a window to fire the ball to a wide open Garrett on a stop route for a nice first-down gain at the least, but Zach declines it.

Next, Zach has a window to try a deep shot to Mims on an out-and-up, although I can see that the safety over top might discourage him. Okay, fine.

But after that, Garrett improvises and breaks free up the sideline, running wide open with nobody covering him. Zach declines that, too.

Zach has already missed on three chances to do something. It’s already a negative play at this point, but he can limit the damage by throwing the ball out of bounds. We are on first-and-10. Let’s live to fight another down.

What Zach does next still boggles my mind. It seems like he tries to throw the ball away, but instead of throwing it directly toward the stands, he just flicks it without a care in the world, and it ends up in-bounds for a Patriot to intercept it. Horrendous. Grade: 0.0

2nd & 7 – Qtr: 4, (12:20) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass incomplete short right.

I think Zach misses an opportunity to hit Garrett here on a crossing route. Garrett beats his man and runs into a vacated area of the field. He’s open, and he’s letting Zach know by waving his hand.

But Zach, yet again, allows the pressure to rattle him more than it needs to. Zach knows he has Uzomah coming across the formation to pick up the edge rusher here. Trust him to make the block. Step up and deliver. Instead, he goes into escape mode despite having plenty of space around him to maneuver in the pocket. Grade: 4.0

3rd & 7 – Qtr: 4, (12:13) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass deep right intended for T.Conklin INTERCEPTED by D.McCourty at NE 27. D.McCourty ran ob at NYJ 37 for 36 yards (Z.Wilson).

Wilson managed to throw two interceptions that qualify for the “as bad as it gets” category.

First, Wilson declines an open Jeff Smith on a drag route over the middle. He’s got to take this throw. I know that it is third-and-7, so Smith would not be guaranteed to get enough yardage for the first here, but he definitely would have a shot at it. Just give him the ball and live with the result. He is the only player open.

What can you even say about what happens next? There is absolutely nothing open and Wilson just chucks the ball up into a crowd of Patriots. Devin McCourty looks like he is catching a punt.

Most interceptions have at least a slight degree of justification to them. This can be said for Wilson’s first pick in this game, due to the pressure. But on the following two interceptions, there was no reason that either play should have resulted in a turnover. None. That is why I graded each of them as a zero. Grade: 0.0

1st & 10 – Qtr: 4, (9:57) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass short left to C.Uzomah to NE 35 for 27 yards (D.McCourty).

Wonderful pass from Wilson here. He squeezes the ball between two zone defenders and does it with enough touch to get it over them. Uzomah comes up with the big catch. Grade: 7.0

1st & 10 – Qtr: 4, (9:11) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass incomplete short right to T.Johnson.

Wilson misses an open checkdown. When I watched this live, I assumed the ball was tipped or Wilson got hit, but the film shows otherwise. Wilson just misses it. He feels the pressure and tries to pop the ball to Johnson with wonky mechanics, and it comes up way short. Pressure or no pressure, you can’t miss throws that are this easy. Grade: 3.0

2nd & 10 – Qtr: 4, (9:07) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass incomplete short right.

Wilson misses an open Conklin sitting right in front of him for a solid pickup of five yards on second-and-10.

First, Wilson sticks to the left side for too long. Johnson is covered man-to-man out of the backfield while Garrett is tightly covered and running straight into another defender. I’m not sure why Zach stuck to these two routes for so long. He should have been able to quickly turn those down and work to the middle, where he’d see Conklin.

After that, Wilson sees some edge pressure coming, and he immediately bails, never checking the middle of the field. Wilson has more than enough time and space to work back to the middle, see Conklin, step up, and deliver, but right now, he is in a headspace where he enters panic mode as soon as he feels the slightest inkling of pressure.

You need to have these short completions on second down to create manageable third downs. Wilson dug too many third-down holes for himself by not taking the boring stuff on second downs. Grade: 3.5

4th & 5 – Qtr: 4, (8:54) (Shotgun) Z.Wilson pass incomplete deep middle to T.Conklin.

The Jets’ chances of winning the game were effectively eliminated on this play. On fourth-and-5, a New Jersey Turnpike-sized running lane opens up for Wilson to scramble and keep the drive going, but he declines it, instead opting for a low-percentage deep shot to Conklin. This throw still has somewhat of a chance to be completed, but Wilson misfires due to terrible footwork under pressure.

Wilson’s mind is frenzied. He loves running around when there is no reason to do so, but when the time finally comes where he should run, he doesn’t.

You need Wilson to tuck the ball and keep the game alive here. Even the most unathletic quarterbacks in the NFL could have converted that scramble. Grade: 2.0

It’s crunch time for Zach Wilson

In many of Wilson’s other bad games, he wasn’t supported too well. So, even if he was bad individually, you could cut him a little slack because the team didn’t give him many chances.

But in this one, there were countless high-quality chances available, to the point where he should have been carving the Patriots up. There was a larger disparity between his actual output and the expectations presented to him than in any other game of his career (in my opinion). That is why I think this game ended up grading so low in my system.

The Jets have a good team around Wilson that is capable of competing for the playoffs. His offensive supporting cast, even with all of its injuries, is creating plenty of opportunities for him to make plays, but he continues to waste them far too often.

I don’t really see the excuse for Wilson playing this poorly. There are viable excuses for him not putting up world-beating numbers, but Wilson’s support has been nowhere near bad enough to justify him being a complete liability. He is holding the team back and should be held accountable for it. It’s time to step up. Just about everyone else on the team is pulling their weight, including many first and second-year players. Why can’t Wilson pull his?

Wilson is entering a pivotal stretch of his career. His second season is getting dangerously close to being viewed as a step backward compared to the way he finished his rookie season. That is completely unacceptable considering that Wilson’s rookie season was already underwhelming enough to where he entered Year 2 needing a big leap just to be a league-average kind of quarterback.

Even if you don’t think Wilson has regressed, it is tough to argue he has been anything better than equal to his rookie year, which is still nowhere near what the Jets need from him.

If Wilson wants to prove he is a legitimately improved quarterback in Year 2, he needs to turn things around ASAP.

Sure, Wilson could have a few more rough games and then finish the season on a hot streak, but with every game he adds to this current slump, it raises the threshold for how good he will have to be later in the season to erase the negativity of his slow start.

Hot streaks to close seasons (whether they are amassed by a player or a team) rarely translate into the next season. The whole season’s body of work must be evaluated as one. You can’t just forget the bad games from the start of a season and cherry-pick the late games where a guy (or team) played better.

If this is how things worked, then Sam Darnold would be an elite quarterback for the Jets right now, as that’s what his final four games of the 2018 season indicated he’d be. The same can be said for the second half of his 2019 season.

Wilson has played five games out of the maximum total of 14 he could play this year (regular season). That’s over one-third of his season, and at this point, there is no indisputable evidence that he is a better quarterback than the one who produced some of the worst numbers in the NFL as a rookie.

I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that it is officially crunch time for Zach Wilson. If he doesn’t save his season soon, the Jets could be facing a very interesting offseason at the quarterback position.

Notice how I said “offseason”. I don’t think any decisions will be coming at QB until then. Wilson deserves to start for the rest of this season. The Jets need to evaluate him, and, in my opinion, he’s their best short-term option, too. Mike White and Joe Flacco are equally as bad as Wilson is playing right now. Putting one of them in for Wilson is not going to change anything.

It’s shocking that we have reached this point so quickly after Wilson enjoyed an impressive pair of games to start the year. But this is the reality. Things would be different if he were playing at a “meh” level, but Wilson’s cumulative output over the last three games was awful – completely changing his outlook going forward.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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Mike Palazzo
Mike Palazzo
25 days ago

Hey Mike, I have questions in what will happen to the remaining QB’s on the roster. Does Flacco Stay with the Jets Next year considering he is not mobile and Does not see open receivers and / Or based on Zach’s development? Does Mike White really offer any competition or any upside to him being QB #2 or 3? Could Streveler be productive if given a chance? Do the Jets sign a veteran QB who can compete with Zach for the starting role? Given one who is Mobile and can step up in the pocket and not make bone head decisions.

Mike Palazzo
Mike Palazzo
23 days ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

Hey Mike, Thanks for the reply. I will put this in my notebook. Yes, I have a notebook on the Jets. I Like to compare your guys Weekly analysis with what the Coaches and Players implement come gameday. I would say Your guys evaluations on how to attack opponents and how to use players are spot on about 95% of the time. Keep up the excellent work !!! Its been a learning experience and lots of fun this season.

Matt Galemmo
Matt Galemmo
26 days ago

Wow. I saw the 21 score when this review was first released, but I didn’t want to watch it. I don’t know how long it took you to put this together, but it must’ve felt like a month. Yuck.

We can now say this is all in his head. He made some great plays…how can you do that and make this many awful plays in the same game? It’s schizo, man.

I’m hoping the coaching staff gives some thought as to how to get him to get out of his own way. There’s got to be plays that don’t allow him to think, and the theory would be give a bunch of those and he’ll get into a good rhythm.

So what plays are they? I have one idea…the first time they face a 3rd and 2, I motion to an empty backfield and let Zach run it. First off, it will work–the Jets haven’t done that with Zach at all this year*–and secondly, there’s nothing to think about.

*why haven’t they done this with Zach this year? I seem to remember them doing it a few times on the goal line last year, although maybe I remember wrong.

Bird9
Bird9
27 days ago

Great piece, as always. My net on Zach is that he seems to lack toughness. I’d love to see him stand in and take a big hit on a completion, but it never happens. I think he missed out on the Pop Warner drill they did to my son, making the newbies hold a big pad and try to block while the older guys mauled them. It was brutal, but it did toughen him up.

vnick12
vnick12
27 days ago

I too like these breakdowns. There’s a lot to see that you don’t get from the TV broadcast. And I respect that you are honest and admit some subjectivity has to go into the scoring you use. My problem is you keep evaluating Zach in a vacuum. “Here he missed his read. Here he showed poor ball placement. Etc.” I would love to see you cut up tape and score Mahomes, or Herbert, or some other Tier 1 QB. Are they missing reads? Are they lacking ball placement? Are they not tucking it in and running for + yards when they should be? It’s hard for me to go hard negative on Zach without seeing comparable tape of how the top guys play. JMO…

Jets71
Jets71
27 days ago
Reply to  vnick12

I agree with you, I’ve been saying for a long time if everyone looked at other QB’s the same way as Zach they would be in shock.

Rivka Boord
Editor
26 days ago
Reply to  Jets71

The difference is that those other QBs have the results to make up for the reads that they miss. Sure, every QB misses reads, but Zach does so more frequently and with far more disastrous results. Combine the eye test and the stats.

Jets71
Jets71
27 days ago

I usually look forward to these breakdowns but this one I can’t watch. I guess it’s because I saw it, and I know, all I can say is I’m behind Zach. Not popular now I know but I wasn’t crazy about him when we drafted him now I’m all in. We can’t keep doing this pile on stuff. Our years of frustration can’t be piled on one guy

This seems like a maturity “thing” and I feel it will click. I also think it will click this season. This is not an excuse by any stretch but clearly they haven’t recovered from the loss of Knapp. Calabrese doesn’t seem to be the guy for Zach. I’m not blaming him, he’s probably a fine coach but sometimes it just doesn’t work. Obviously there is a disconnect. I know he’s not saying “Zach if nothing is there, force a throw and see what happens” but that is what’s going on. I also like LaFleur a lot, I think he’s got a great offensive mind, and I think he’s the guy for this offense and team. I watch every presser and there is just something that makes me think he’s not a great communicator. He strikes me as a guy who would be better with a seasoned pro.

I want to make it CLEAR that I’m not saying ANY of that as an excuse for Zach, he needs to be better no doubt, but this is a team effort. I have seen plenty of people say he lost the game for them, I couldn’t disagree more. HE didn’t lose it, THEY lost it, HE didn’t do anything to bail out his teammates, he just contributed to the problem.

Glass half full, he’s 4-1 as a starter and if we are blaming him for the loss then he gets credit for the wins. It was a bad game even for a HS QB but EVERY QB has them. EVERY ONE OF THEM. He’ll muscle through this, it will just take some time.

I know I’ll get killed in the comments but you’ll feel differently when they beat the Bills!!!!!

Last edited 27 days ago by Jets71
Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
25 days ago
Reply to  Jets71

I’m with you. I want to believe in Zach, but this tape was awful. It’s not an issue of “if nothing is there, then…” It’s an issue of there IS stuff there and he’s just not seeing it, or not being patient enough to hang in the pocket and make throws knowing he might take a hit in the process. Let’s hope that like happened to Josh Allen, having a terrible game against the Pats turns his season around.

dudizt
dudizt
27 days ago

Love these reviews and being able to see the breakdown. Zach does need to step up and start taking what is there. And quit leaving the pocket when there is no pressure.

On the first video, I thought the slot corner was playing a zone and baiting Zach to throw the slant to G Wilson. Curios what your thoughts are Michael?