In one game, the NY Jets QB showed i) why he was drafted second overall in the 2021 NFL draft, and ii) why, right now, Mike White is a better option for Robert Saleh’s team
Zach Wilson is as polarizing as a topic can be in New York Jets land these days.
Some say that the team has a better record with Wilson under center (5-3) than with either Joe Flacco or Mike White (2-4), which should be enough to keep riding the BYU product. Others believe Wilson shouldn’t play another down for the Jets because of his poor play.
As usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
First things first: Wilson is not a functional NFL quarterback right now (focus on right now). That’s the truth.
He can’t consistently execute routine throws from the pocket and, especially, Wilson cannot impose his rhythm and timing on a rhythm and timing-based passing attack.
On the other hand, it’s also clear why HC Robert Saleh and the Jets brass can’t give up on the kid.
I mean, look at the throws he made against Detroit. The late third down conversion to Garrett Wilson, the improvisation to find Elijah Moore in crunch time, the effortless go route to Jeff Smith… those plays are exciting and are the Jets’ ticket to the promised land if Wilson figures the rest out (big if). That’s undeniable.
Still, the flashy stuff isn’t enough; at least by itself. It’s unsustainable. And the fact that’s the only card in Wilson’s game at the moment is hurting the New York Jets.
Honestly, I don’t remember seeing a game plan as disrespectful as the one Detroit throttled out against the Jets this past Sunday. Never.
Former Jet and current Lions DC Aaron Glenn assumed Zach Wilson wasn’t capable of beating him. Despite the Jets having a talent advantage on the perimeter, despite Wilson’s flashy arm, despite anything, Glenn knew that, in the long run of the game, his best bet was to take away the ground game at any cost and dare the New York Jets to win the game through the air.
Remember, the Wilson-led Jets beat the Green Bay Packers and the Buffalo Bills by running all over them in the second half, getting away with the win on the back of their running-game physicality.
Detroit wouldn’t allow it to happen. New York could, eventually, take over and win. But it would have to be through Wilson and his ability to consistently make accurate throws from the pocket.
Wilson, to be fair, did quasi-enough in his last drive to warrant an overtime affair. He made big-time throws (and missed some, as well), and put Greg Zuerlein within his range – despite awful clock management by Robert Saleh.
Still, the missed opportunities throughout the game hurt the Jets more than the big-time throws helped.
Considering how the Lions played, this was supposed to be a field day for the passing offense. Instead, it was more of a rollercoaster… as everything is with Wilson right now.
That’s what the tape shows: