Zach Wilson, NY Jets, Truth, Stats, Patriots
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets have little reason to believe in Zach Wilson until proven otherwise

Zach Wilson isn’t the guy.

That is the ugly truth for the New York Jets after their latest loss to the New England Patriots.

At least, that is the ugly truth for now. Wilson still could be the guy. A remote chance remains.

But at this present moment, he is not, and the Jets have no reason to believe he will be. Until Wilson shows drastic progress, he continues to be the number one obstacle standing between the Jets and legitimate Super Bowl contention.

Wilson completed 41% of his passes and netted 44 passing yards in a game where the Jets’ defense allowed 3 points. The woeful outputs from Wilson and the entire Jets offense were the primary reasons New York failed to end its losing streak against New England and seize first place in the AFC East. All the Jets needed from Wilson was 6 points to establish themselves as legitimate threats for the division crown, and he couldn’t get it done.

Upon the first viewing, this may have seemed like a team-wide debacle for the Jets’ offense. And, yes, there certainly were a lot of issues for the offense. The run game was particularly terrible. Let’s not act like Wilson is the only offensive player who performed poorly. Everyone can take some blame when the team scores 3 points.

But when you take a closer look at the game, there are numerous plays on tape that serve as a damning indictment of the quarterback.

The protection was often solid. Receivers were getting open. Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur drew up some successful concepts. But Wilson continuously failed to capitalize on golden opportunities.

New York is 6-4 with a defense that is arguably playing like the NFL’s best. In all four of the Jets’ losses, their quarterback’s performance was arguably the primary reason they lost.

It is not hard to picture the Jets having 7, 8, or even 9 wins right now if they enjoyed league-average quarterback play this year. That’s how tremendous the supporting cast has looked – and I’m talking about both sides of the ball.

Offensively, the Jets are far from perfect and dealing with a ton of injuries, but as the film shows, they have still been good enough to create a myriad of favorable opportunities for the QB. Joe Flacco botched an incredible percentage of them from Weeks 1-3 and Zach Wilson has been no better.

Wilson is 20 games into his career and he is arguably performing worse than the three young quarterbacks who preceded him in New York: Sam Darnold, Geno Smith, and Mark Sanchez. This is despite having substantially better support than Darnold and Smith.

For me, personally, I am no longer sold that Wilson will be the Jets’ franchise quarterback. It could absolutely still happen, although I would be very surprised based on what we have seen to this point. To each his own, but that’s where I stand.

The big question is where the Jets go from here. New York has an opportunity to make some noise in January thanks to a dominant defense and an offense that is teething with untapped potential, which has been wasted by the quarterback position.

How long do the Jets allow Wilson to sink them before they make a change to Mike White? While White is not a very appealing alternative (I am probably one of his biggest detractors), the Jets can only put up with Wilson’s hijinks for so long. Will they really allow him to drag the team all the way out of the playoff race with no repercussions?

On the latest episode of the Cool Your Jets podcast, we react to the Patriots game, break down what we saw from Wilson, and discuss what the Jets should do at the QB position going forward.

Audio Version available to members only: Learn more here

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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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ncjetsfan
ncjetsfan
8 days ago

QBs don’t play in a vaccuum as your article supposes. They are affected by their OL’s play, the play of those around them, and what has happened in previous games. Zach is a rhythm passer, if he is not given a chance to get into a rhythm, then he is probably going to struggle.

Also, at this time last year, a lot of people were saying that Josh Allen was a bust, and some are still very critical of him.

The Titans game last year wasn’t a fluke. That is the type of play of which Zach is capable. The fact that he isn’t playing at that level now doesn’t rest solely on him. MLF and Saleh must bear a hefty part of that as well for whatever they have told him or however they have restricted him. It’s almost never just one person’s fault.

Jim G
Jim G
8 days ago
Reply to  ncjetsfan

With all due respect, LaFleur cannot scheme for a QB who misses wide open receivers or who doesn’t see open receivers. I don’t recall any drops in the game. He had a clean pocket numerous times as the videos in the article demonstrate. If a QB can’t get into a rhythm with a clean pocket and open receivers, that is, and must be, on the QB.

Rich
Rich
9 days ago

If you watch Zach’s footwork, it’s abysmal. This is why he’s so inaccurate. Sailing throws, underthrows, offtarget throws. Even with no pressure, he throws off his back foot, which is why he has no accuracy. His brain cannot process everything he needs to process: scan the defense, call the play, watch the clock, handle the snap, go through progressions, feel the pressure, AND getting his steps right. It’s just too much. When he actually does step into his throws, his accuracy is fine, but he’s absolutely jittery and has nervous feet. Kenny O’Brien was fantastic until he got concussed and got scared in the pocket. He was never the same. This kid is scared to death in the pocket.

Jets71
Jets71
8 days ago
Reply to  Rich

The way they call roughing the passer and don’t allow the WR’s to be touched in today’s NFL Ken O’Brien would have be a top 5 QB. He had arm, accuracy, and threw a great ball, but as you mentioned he was rocked a few too many times. Those hits don’t happen anymore (see Tom Brady).

I was watching the Marino “Football Life” with some younger fans and pointed out that almost every one of his highlight throws there would have been a roughing the passer call in today’s game.

This team would be a contender if they had Ken O’Brien in his prime right now.

Last edited 8 days ago by Jets71
mlesko73
mlesko73
9 days ago

I think that this off-season we make legitimate runs at Lamar and Jimmy G.
Then we can play the “it’s an open competition” card in camp, knowing full well what the outcome will be.
Add a LB, safety and some O line depth and we are real contenders.
It’s not fair to let this kid drag the rest of the team down and Saleh must show the team that he wants to win.

Mike Palazzo
Mike Palazzo
9 days ago

Your right Mike, We have seen it all year and the team might be its best right now considering all the effort and opportunities created. I don’t think Zach progresses any further. It’s always a question of what Zach Wilson will show up this week ? The one who looks like he can do just enough to win the game or the one who costs the Team the game ? Too many opportunities missed. Can’t blame the OC, Can’t blame the O-line, Can’t blame the Cold weather or Wind. The Blame falls on Zach Wilson. It’s Supposed to be a year to evaluate if he can be the Franchise QB and all the statistics and Film point to the answer being no. I say give Streveler a shot. The Bears game would be a perfect time to see if he can be the guy. If he wins the game then Keep him in.

Bird9
Bird9
9 days ago

I wonder how much of Elijah Moore’s trade request had to do with his assessment of Wilson.

Rivka Boord
Editor
9 days ago
Reply to  Bird9

We’re starting to get that sense.

Psi
Psi
9 days ago

At best Zach gets the first half against Chicago. He acts like an entitled kid playing a man’s game, and he needs to be shown what accountability looks like. I personally don’t think he’s got the fortitude to be a consistent NFL starter at this stage of his life. Geno had the same problem. Saleh owes it to the rest of the team. They’ve arrived quicker than expected and a hook with Zach is needed to acknowledge what the rest of the football world already knows.

Mike Palazzo
Mike Palazzo
9 days ago
Reply to  Psi

Agreed, White or Streveler. I like Strev’s Mobility better than whites.

mlesko73
mlesko73
9 days ago
Reply to  Psi

Totally agree

Rich
Rich
9 days ago

Yup. He needs to sit and watch from the booth the rest of this season. I said so all year. It’s painfully apparent that he is not ready to lead a playoff caliber team right now. It’s obvious. Poor accuracy and terrible decision-making are not traits that young qbs rarely ever overcome. He’s not the first highly touted qb to fail, in fact most probably do. It frustrates the heck out of me when people cite Josh Allen, Troy Aikman, or Peyton Manning’s first year stats. That’s cherry picking the best of the best and disregarding the 99 out of 100 terrible qbs that stayed terrible their whole careers. Give White a chance and sprinkle in Streveler packages. Let Zach watch and compete for a spot next year.

Mike Palazzo
Mike Palazzo
9 days ago
Reply to  Rich

Agreed, It’s time for a change. Can’t let the team suffer. Especially the Defense.

Rich
Rich
9 days ago
Reply to  Mike Palazzo

Kudos to Nania for simply publishing the truth about our qb situation. The media is always riding the fence to appease both sides of an issue. Just tell it like it is.

Last edited 9 days ago by Rich
Bird9
Bird9
9 days ago

He should have been benched at halftime.

Mike Palazzo
Mike Palazzo
9 days ago
Reply to  Bird9

I Hope they make a change at QB. The media will eat it up but the team will be better off.