In a highly anticipated rematch against the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets met yet another quarterback calamity. This time, it was Zach Wilson who proved to be woefully ineffective, resulting in his benching with over two minutes left in the third quarter. The Jets suffered a crushing 32-6 defeat at Highmark Stadium, leaving the team contemplating a potential quarterback change for their upcoming game against the Miami Dolphins. Coach Robert Saleh was noncommittal about Wilson’s future, emphasizing that he will make a decision after reviewing the game tape. This marks a significant departure from earlier in the season when Wilson was unquestionably the starting quarterback. Now, the Jets find themselves grappling with the question of whether to turn to journeyman Tim Boyle or promote veteran Trevor Siemian from the practice squad.
The Jets’ offensive struggles this season have been a far cry from their initial optimism following Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles injury in Week 1. Wilson, the former No. 2 overall draft pick, was meant to be the future of the organization, eventually succeeding Rodgers. However, his performance since replacing the injured quarterback has been lackluster at best. Against the Bills, Wilson completed just 7 of 15 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown, along with an interception. The young quarterback has been plagued by missed protections, dropped balls, and missed routes throughout the season. While Saleh acknowledges that Wilson must improve, he also emphasizes that the issues extend beyond the quarterback position.
Ordinarily, the benching of a No. 2 quarterback would not garner significant attention. However, in Wilson’s case, the situation extends beyond the immediate game. The Jets had planned for Wilson to eventually take over as the starting quarterback, but if he faces another demotion, it could potentially mark the end of his tenure in New York. Wilson expressed frustration with his performance and acknowledged the need for accountability. Unlike last season when he deflected blame, he took full responsibility for his shortcomings. Uncertainty surrounds Wilson’s job status, as the short week leading up to the game against the Dolphins poses challenges for his potential replacements’ preparation.
The Jets’ offensive struggles against the Bills were evident in their statistics. They committed three turnovers, allowed six sacks, gained only 155 total yards, and failed to convert on all 11 of their third-down attempts. It was a dismal performance, with the only bright spot being a touchdown pass to running back Breece Hall, ending a 40-drive touchdown drought. The entire offense, including Wilson, faced criticism for their lack of productivity. Wide receiver Garrett Wilson, known for his skills on the field, had a particularly rough game, losing a fumble and dropping a pass. The offense’s struggles persisted despite various attempts to address the issues leading up to the game.
In addition to the offensive woes, the Jets’ usually stout defense faltered against the Bills. Josh Allen threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns, exposing significant vulnerabilities. The struggles on both sides of the ball compounded the team’s difficulties, leaving cornerback D.J. Reed to reflect on the importance of starting games strong. Reed acknowledged that relying on heroic comebacks is not a sustainable strategy for success. The Jets’ defensive unit, typically a source of strength, must regroup and find a way to perform at a higher level.
Zach Wilson’s position as the starting quarterback hangs in the balance. With a Total QBR ranking of 30th out of 31 quarterbacks, Wilson has struggled to find consistency this season. The offense as a whole has been historically poor, with difficulties converting on third downs and in the red zone. Wilson himself acknowledged the team’s collective struggle, expressing frustration with their inability to make plays. The upcoming games will serve as a critical juncture for the Jets, as they must decide whether to stick with Wilson or explore other options.
The New York Jets face a looming decision that could shape the trajectory of their season. With Zach Wilson’s underwhelming performance and the team’s offensive struggles, a change may be necessary. Whether it is replacing Wilson with Tim Boyle or promoting Trevor Siemian, the Jets must find a solution to their quarterback calamity. The road ahead is uncertain, but one thing is clear – the Jets cannot continue on their current path if they hope to salvage their season. Through accountability, improvement, and strategic decisions, they must find a way to alleviate the quarterback turmoil and set a new course for success.