Grading NY Jets QB Zach Wilson's Week 5 performance against Broncos

How did Zach Wilson look in Week 5?
NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

Following up on his impressive Sunday Night Football performance last week, Zach Wilson put together another encouraging performance this week against the Denver Broncos.

The Jets gameplan was obviously to run the ball, so Wilson was not tasked with doing too much, but he played fine for what he was asked to do.

The Jets ran the ball 32 times for 234 yards, with 177 coming from Breece Hall, who is now off his pitch count. It was an obvious ground-and-pound attack, and for the most part, it worked.

Zach Wilson's Week 5 performance

Wilson completed 19-of-26 passes for 199 yards, one interception, and no touchdowns. He also used his legs, with three rushes for 26 yards. Per Pro Football Focus, Wilson had a 66.3 offensive grade, a decrease from his 72.2 grade last week.

Wilson was not asked to make many big plays, but when he was, he made a few of them. The 3rd-and-4 throw to Tyler Conklin was one of his best. He was poised in the pocket while under pressure, stood tall and made a strong throw in a clutch situation.

Later that drive, Wilson would try to make another big throw to Garrett Wilson to pretty much seal the game but left the ball a little too far inside, and Patrick Surtain II made him pay and intercepted it.

Wilson had the right idea — in a big spot, he gave his best wide receiver a chance in a one-on-one matchup but the throw was not in the right spot and Surtain is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Luckily for Wilson, the defense was able to get a huge stop to prevent that interception from costing them the game.

What could be improved?

Looking further into Wilson’s PFF grades, there are some things that he excels at that it would be nice to see the Jets lean into.

The Jets got the run game going and the few times they went to play action it worked very well. Wilson had 4 dropbacks in play action, he completed 3 of 3 passes for 37 yards including a big-time throw to Garrett Wilson. 

Wilson’s PFF grade jumped from 58.0 on non-play-action plays to 88.4 on play-action plays. That is a small sample size, but it was working, and they could have gone to it more, especially in the red zone, where they struggled most of the game.

Another issue that came up was at the end of the half, where Wilson threw it in bounds to C.J. Uzomah with not much time left and no timeouts.

There seemed to be no sense of urgency from Wilson or any of the offensive players to get to the line and spike the ball. They were already in field goal range before that play, and because of it, they missed out on points going into the half.

Overall, Wilson played well for what he was asked to do. He completed 73 percent of his passes and kept the Jets in the game — he was not a negative like he was in the Patriots game.

With how bad the Broncos' defense has been this season, it would have been nice to see them be a little more aggressive and let him loose, but that was not the game plan.

Grade: C+