The NY Jets suffered a demoralizing 19-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars to drop their fourth straight and watch their playoff hopes all but fade away.
What's next for Zach Wilson?
It is hard not to feel like this was the nail in the coffin for Zach Wilson’s career with the Jets (7-8). Not only did the second-year quarterback finish 9-for-18 for 92 yards and one interception, but he was benched and outperformed by essentially a fourth-string, practice squad player in Chris Streveler.
“I just felt like I didn't have any rhythm out there,” Wilson said. “I was just trying to find some confidence out there on the field and I was trying to find something to get us going, a little spark, but I didn't get anything there.”
While it is unfair to place all of the blame in this one on Wilson, the fact is once again the offense looked uninspired and pedestrian with him at the helm. Outside of a few backyard-style plays, Wilson has not shown any signs of improvement so far in his two seasons and seems to have lost all of his confidence as well.
“We have a very passionate fanbase and they are here to watch us score touchdowns and we are not scoring touchdowns,” Wilson said regarding the boos he heard from the crowd. “Of course they are going to be frustrated.”
Although it might sound too rash to give up on a former second-overall pick in just his second season, Wilson’s play has at least invited the conversation as Gang Green appears to be headed for an offseason that will shape the team for years to come.
Enough blame to go around
While it might be easy to make Wilson the scapegoat in a game like this, everybody on the Jets needs to ask themselves what they could have done better. Not only did Gang Green look unprepared for this matchup against Jacksonville (7-8), but they showed no aptitude in getting back into it despite only trailing by 10 points at halftime.
“It's not about playoffs right now,” head coach Robert Saleh said. “We played four consecutive teams that are in the hunt for the playoffs and we battled, we battled three of them, I'm just really disappointed with this showing today.”
Although the Jaguars are a feisty squad looking to make a late push for the playoffs, there is nothing they did that should have overwhelmed Gang Green which is what makes this performance so surprising.
Whether it is offense, defense, special teams, or coaching, everybody who donned a Jets logo in this one needs to be held accountable.
What could have been
Perhaps the most disheartening thing about this game for a Gang Green supporter is to look at the other sideline and wonder what could have been. Finishing 29-for-31 for 229 yards, the light seems to have turned on for Trevor Lawrence following a disastrous rookie campaign.
“It was extremely disappointing, we couldn't execute and we couldn't play complementary football today,” Sauce Gardner said. “I don't even know what to say, I was extremely confident and I'm still confident in this team, we got to execute."
Since week nine, Lawrence ranks among the best quarterbacks in the NFL and seems to just be getting better. Make no mistake about it, Lawrence still has a long way to go before he can enter the conversation of guys like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, etc.
However, he appears to be on the trajectory that second-year quarterbacks should be on while Zach Wilson is headed in the opposite direction.v=