Eleven weeks and a 32-6 drubbing in Buffalo later, the New York Jets finally seem ready to pull the plug on Zach Wilson.
The former No. 2 overall pick was benched late in the third quarter for career backup/third-stringer Tim Boyle. Worse yet, Jets coach Robert Saleh didn’t name a starter for Week 12’s Friday tilt against Miami. He claimed Wilson was benched because of the score late in the game, but we all know the truth.
At long last, for reasons only they know, perhaps the New York Jets can no longer defend starting Zach Wilson.
And as ESNY’s resident baseball writer who considers himself a football fan first and far from an expert? It’s about time. It doesn’t take a genius to watch Zach Wilson play quarterback for the Jets and see he’s fully in over his head. The fact that receiver Garrett Wilson is becoming the main voice in the locker room and not the young quarterback speaks volumes.
Now, in Wilson’s defense, he’s matured this year. He hasn’t deflected blame like last season and takes more ownership of his mistakes.
“We need to take accountability, and that starts with me,” he said after Sunday’s loss.
But that still doesn’t take away from just how badly the Jets have wasted this season. It’s been the same story, week in and week out. The Jets wish for a Zach Wilson breakout in one hand while losses or low-scoring, defense-driven wins mount in the other.
The worst part? New York declined to sign established veterans like Carson Wentz or Matt Ryan in wake of Rodgers’ injury. This isn’t to say they’d be a playoff team with either man, they’d probably be in the same position or even worse off than now.
But the fact remains that either man at his worst is probably better than Zach Wilson. The former BYU Cougar just doesn’t win consistently. Even with a good game here or there. And when the Jets have won with Wilson at quarterback, it’s never been because of him. Again, the defense or running game is almost always the star of the show.
So what comes next? Well, Rodgers seems to be eyeing Christmas Eve for his return, but that’s a big risk. He’ll be 40 years old and potentially rushing back from a major injury. Maybe he changes his mind and comes back full force in 2024, or maybe the Jets go in a completely new direction?
Either way, whatever the decision, it will be better than the Zach Wilson insanity. The Jets have tried, tried, and tried again to no avail, and may finally accept the truth.
Zach Wilson is not a starting-caliber NFL quarterback, and probably never was.