The New York Jets legend acknowledged Zach Wilson’s performance but stopped short of an apology
In Week 4, New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson had one of the best games of his three-year career. The 2021 second overall pick threw for 245 yards with two touchdowns, outplaying Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes on Sunday Night Football. With the spotlight on, Wilson finally performed well under pressure. Yet while most are praising the young quarterback, including many Chiefs players and LeBron James, Jets legend Joe Namath still doesn’t seem convinced.
Per @OptaSTATS, Zach Wilson is the only opposing QB to have more completions, passing yards, TD passes and fewer interceptions than Patrick Mahomes in ANY of the 127 games Mahomes has started in college or the NFL😱🤯
— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkes22) October 2, 2023
After the NY Jets suffered a 15-10 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 3, the Jets legend (and sole Lombardi-hoisting quarterback) didn’t mince words on his thoughts about quarterback Zach Wilson.
“I wouldn’t keep [Zach],” started Namath. “I’ve seen enough of Zach Wilson. He has quick feet and can throw a little bit, but I don’t believe what’s going on up there.”
NY Jets legend @RealJoeNamath: I've seen enough of Zach Wilson
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) September 25, 2023
Prior to the Jets’ Week 4 matchup against the Chiefs, it was rumored that Wilson’s future with the team was on the line pending his performance. With rumors of finger-pointing at Wilson from both the offense and defense, something needed to give.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 1, 2023
Wilson’s performance led to plenty of players, coaches, and media coming to the defense of the quarterback, with former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis pushing back on Namath’s comments after the team’s loss to the Patriots.
Yet while Wilson delivered in his make-or-break game, he still cost the team with what was ultimately the game-losing fumble. The performance didn’t seem to be enough to sway Namath’s opinion of the young quarterback, either.
Speaking on The Michael Kay Show, Namath returned and was asked about his thoughts on Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.
“[Zach] played well,” Admitted Namath. “He played pretty darn good, and that’s what we want to see. Believe me … I want us to do well.
Joe Namath, who ripped Zach Wilson last week on @TMKSESPN, returned today. Namath's take on last night:
"Well, he played well. He played pretty darn good, and that's what we want to see. Believe me, now I am a Jets fan. I want us to do well. I get fed up whenever something goes…
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) October 2, 2023
“I get fed up whenever something goes wrong, of course, and I’m tired of losing, but Zach did some positive things. We know he has athletic ability. We know he has good feet. He can run around and we know he has a strong arm. And he showed that again. Yeah, he showed it yesterday. But it’s the mistakes that hurt us a bit.”
While Namath didn’t outright say that Wilson’s performance was a fluke, you can read between the lines given his previous sentiments.
One thing is for sure, the Jets will find out soon enough. Gang Green takes on a lethargic Denver Broncos team in Week 5, led by a new rival for the Jets, Sean Payton.
The Broncos defense has the worst DVOA through four games since at least 1981, which is as far back as the stat has been tracked. If Wilson struggles in Denver, it still may be time to call curtains on the 24-year old—but Namath seems to begrudge even that.
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