We need to talk about the New York Jets and their quarterback problem.
Yesterday, the New York Jets had more punts (10) than pass completions (9).
They lost a 10-3 game on a last second punt return to the rival New England Patriots, and after the game, second year QB Zach Wilson, who is supposed to be the franchise player, told the media that he didn’t feel like the offense let the defense down.
The New York Jets defense had six sacks, eight tackles for a loss, and didn’t allow a touchdown for the first time since 2019, and Zach Wilson stood in front of the New York media and said “not my problem.”
Wilson is young. He’s going to make mistakes as he learns about the act of taking public accountability in this league. There are a lot of people piling on to Wilson for what he said, and I’m not going to join in.
Partly because I’m not going to say anything that Dan Orlovsky or Colin Cowherd haven’t already said. But mainly because there’s no point in wasting energy scolding a quarterback that shouldn’t even be in the game.
The Jets are in last place right now in what looks like the best division in football, and are wasting an opportunity to go to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years by attempting to develop a QB that might be ready for the moment someday, but definitely isn’t ready right now.
Head Coach Robert Saleh choosing to play Zach Wilson over Joe Flacco, who has started four less games this season than Wilson but still has more touchdown passes, is going to alienate Wilson from his teammates, and stunt the development of everyone on the team for the sake of trying to bring along one guy.
Wilson is having trouble seeing open receivers downfield, he’s repeatedly floating balls on short to intermediate routes, there’s no zip or urgency on his checkdown throws, and when he does hit an open receiver, the balls often get dropped because receivers start pressing when their opportunities are limited.
Maybe the Jets are afraid of another Geno Smith situation, who got his jaw broken by a teammate in 2015, leading to Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for a team-record 31 TDs in a 10-win season that still didn’t result in a playoff berth. Maybe they see Geno Smith balling out for the Seahawks seven years later and don’t want to miss out on a chance to patiently develop their own franchise QB- but Geno Smith is an extreme outlier.
The Jets are much closer to ruining Zach Wilson the way they ruined Sam Darnold. The New York media has already latched onto Wilson saying he didn’t let the defense down the same way they latched onto Darnold saying that he was seeing ghosts on the field. The chances that Wilson lives that moment down are slim to none, especially if he can’t lead the team to a win this weekend against the QB the Jets passed on in Justin Fields.
The right thing to do for the New York Jets fans, the locker room, and for Zach Wilson himself, is to let Joe Flacco go out there and be the boring statue he’s always been, so you can limit mistakes and let this defense cook.
The goal for the Jets down the stretch needs to be reaching 10 wins, and they’re not going to do that behind the arm of a man who can’t even get 10 completions in a game.
Let that sink in.