Jets QB Zach Wilson takes a terrible loss against the Patriots

Do you want this man as your QB?

Do you want this man as your QB?
Picture: Getty Images

The underground arc of Zach Wilson’s career hit a new low in New York The New England Patriots lost 10-3. For 59 minutes and 30 seconds, the Jets defense allowed just one field goal against the New England Patriots. However, Marcus Jones’ game-winning punt return in the waning moments of Sunday’s game at New England ended one of the worst defensive plays of the season. It was the Patriots and Bill Belichick’s 14th straight win over the Jets.

Belichick’s defense is arguably the best in the NFL, led by the league’s sack leader Matthew Judon, and ranked No. 1 in the rankings. Football Outsiders Defensive Ratings to show. But nothing gives Belichick more joy than frustrating an overmatched Jets quarterback.

While Mac Jones threw for a spectacular 240 yards and 0 interceptions, Wilson’s 77 yards in three quarters set in motion the latent doom that resides in every Jets fan’s soul. And for good reason, as Wilson still operates like he was the second overall pick in the XFL Draft, not the NFL.

All worship is Wilson’s living arm or “off-platform throws” dissipated, replaced by desperation. In Wilson’s postgame presser, he was asked if he felt like he was letting the defense down, and Wilson responded with a defiant but tone-deaf, “No.” Special teams captain Justin Hardee showed more modesty than that. The defense also noted Wilson’s unconsciousness. Standout rookie corner Sauce Gardner and DE John Franklin-Myers both liked the tweets criticizing Wilson’s absurd response and lousy game. Their passive-aggressive Twitter activity indicates that Robert Saleh has a split locker room between offense and defense while Wilson stinks under center. Nevertheless, both players have since stated the likes it there were accidents. Both players. I like both. Right.

Wilson also blamed the crosswind, saying, “I think you have to take into account that it’s a hell of a wind out there, guys.” While complaints about the gust may have some validity to them, that doesn’t explain why he was so much worse than Mac Jones, who went 23-of-27.

In reality, the Jets’ defense has been Wilson’s life jacket all season. He currently ranks 32nd in passer rating, 33rd in completion percentage, 31st in touchdown catch percentage and 31st in touchdowns per attempt. Under pressure, he ranks last in passer rating (11.5), completion percentage (26.7) and yards per attempt (3.27). He got a pass for poor play during his rookie season as he slowly adjusted to the NFL, but he’s closer to Josh Rosen than Josh Allen at this point in his career.

Jets fans may have some unpleasant déjà vu if Wilson continues his downward spiral. For two decades, the Jets watched the New England Patriots roll the championship with Tom Brady at the helm. Buffalo’s Josh Allen makes air-bending passes at an elite level, and Miami rides Tua Tagovailoa’s MVP-caliber peaks and valleys, but at worst he’s well above sea level. The reverse arc of Wilson’s career was a bowl. The Jets brass will just have to hope to hit the baseline to be considered a starter in center field.

The dynamic in the AFC East resembles the post-1983 order, when the Jets selected Ken O’Brien over Pitt’s Dan Marino, who broke the Dolphins’ passing records in his sophomore season en route to Canton. The Bills got Jim Kelly and went to four Super Bowls. A similar dynamic exists today between Tua, Allen and Wilson. Mac Jones may be more Tony Eason than Tom Brady, but that’s all relative. Wilson is in the pack in his class.

Compared to his experienced quarterback, Joe Flacco, Wilson is a dud. In just three starts this season, Flacco has one more touchdown pass than Wilson (Flacco 5, Wilson 4), who has started seven games. Justin Fields tripled Wilson’s passing touchdown numbers with a fraction of the receiving talent. Unlike the Bears, however, the Jets defense is performing like a Super Bowl-caliber unit. Two years into his NFL career, Wilson is struggling mightily, and the Jets shouldn’t hesitate to sign a young quarterback to compete with him or trade him for next season.

The Jets don’t need to be chained to a quarterback who routinely bogs down the offense while all signs point to an above-average starter they could compete with right now. Sauce Gardner and DJ Reed form the NFL’s best cornerback duo in the league, and the first week puts pressure on one The highest rates in the NFL. With a stacked draft class approaching, Wilson is likely running out of time to change his career trajectory. And it looks like the Jets are still in the market for that franchise QB.


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