The Jets are heading into their bye week in a fashion pretty much nobody expected. Gang Green is 6-3 ahead of a Week 10 breather. While head coach Robert Saleh wants his players to stay focused, New York is definitely starting to think about the playoffs.
There have been plenty of storylines for this squad over the first half of the NFL regular season. One of the most consistent ones includes second-year quarterback Zach Wilson. Is he making the leap everyone wants to see? Can he limit the mistakes and effectively manage the game? Is he going to be the franchise quarterback?
Depending on the week, the answers likely change. After New York dropped a winnable game against the New England Patriots in Week 8, the answer to those questions was probably no. But then, an upset over the Bills went from fantasy to reality. After that win, he received compliments on doing what needed to be done to secure a victory.
Even if Wilson’s stats don’t show the type of progression people would expect in Year 2, there’s still potential to figure things out soon. Former NFL head coach Mike Martz had some very complimentary things to say about the Jets’ signal-caller:
"He can make the unusual throws Mahomes makes. I think when the dust settles, he's going to be an elite player in this league."
— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) November 7, 2022
In under a minute, Martz found a way to sneak in references to Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, while saying Wilson could be an elite player in the NFL. That’s a lot to say in a short period of time.
Let’s not forget that before they faced off against one another, Allen also mentioned similarities between his younger self and Wilson, so there’s some symmetry here. I did like Martz’s explanation for Wilson being a “baseball-bat quarterback” in an effort to not let him “freelance” too much.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard a former coach say complimentary things about Wilson’s potential, either. While he was coming back from his knee injury, Rex Ryan said Wilson is the most skilled quarterback the Jets have had since Joe Namath.
It’s just a matter of staying patient and letting things happen organically. That’ll be easier to watch unfold when Wilson doesn’t try to do too much and just takes what the defense gives him. You know, kind of like what he did in Week 9 against Buffalo.