Zach Wilson fights back
The Week 4 Sunday Night matchup against the Chiefs had all the makings for a typical Jets embarrassment. It was their re-introduction to primetime, and it was bolstered by the attendance of Taylor Swift. All eyes were on Wilson and the Jets.
It could not have started worse. The Jets fell behind 17-0 before the end of the first quarter, Wilson looked lost, the defense looked perplexed, and Mahomes and the Chiefs were rolling.
But then something magical happened at MetLife stadium. Star edge pass rusher Bryce Huff registered a safety, coach Nathaniel Hackett opened up the playbook, and Zach Wilson started making big-time throws.
By halftime, the score was back to a reasonable 20-12 and the Jets had momentum going into the half for the first time all year. Wilson was suddenly 18-of-26 for 141 yards and a score in the half and the Jets were moving the ball at will.
Things only got better from there. Out of the break, Wilson led the best NFL drive of his career, finishing 5-of-5 for 75 yards and a beautiful score to Allen Lazard in the back of the endzone through traffic. He capped it off with a successful two-point conversion scramble to tie the game at 20-20.
Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the night as the Jets would end up falling just short, 23-20, behind a bad dropped snap from Wilson, and a few questionable calls by officials late extended the Chiefs drive.
Despite the turnover and loss, fans, teammates, and coaches were enthused with Wilson’s performance. He finished 28-of-39 for 245 yards and two scores.
It was the best performance of his career while his back was against the wall. It finally gave everyone something to build off of and draw on moving forward.
The Jets now sit at 1-3 through the first four games. They have a highly winnable game against the Denver Broncos this week, coming off some real momentum from their game against the Chiefs.
If the Jets can get it done, and Wilson can look functional again, they can reasonably look forward to being competitive the rest of the year.
Following the Broncos, the Jets play the Philadelphia Eagles before the bye week. After the bye, the schedule gets dramatically easier, and more opportunities are available to win games.