Seeing the NY Jets with a record over .500 when looking at the division standings is still hard to take in and at the same time incredibly exciting. This excitement and winning record have to be credited at least partially to Zach Wilson who has injected a much-needed burst of enthusiasm and determination into both the fans and this roster.
The excitement around this youthful squad has been a refreshing buzz as compared to the past few years of monotony and disappointment. Looking at Wilson’s on-field performance, he was once again crucial in leaving this past weekend’s matchup with a win.
His first quarter was a solid opening to the game, with a couple of nice completions to Elijah Moore and Garrett Wilson to keep the chains moving early and helped kickstart a good offensive performance.
Despite a poor pass that dropped short of Moore, Wilson followed this mistake up with a clutch pass to Corey Davis on third down.
The highlight of the opening quarter has to be the pass when he hit Breece Hall for a 79-yard pass which was downed at the one-yard line. Wilson progressed through his first reads before scanning to the other side of the field where he hit Hall in stride.
This is exactly the kind of play you want to see from your second-year QB. He was patient looking through his progressions before making the right pass and reaping the rewards. This throw is evidence Wilson has matured significantly as a passer.
NY Jets QB Zach Wilson continues to mature each and every week
Wilson continued to manage the game through the rest of the half. He looked calm and collected and made a good decision to run in for a touchdown on 3rd-and-goal — an excellent showcase of both quality decision-making and athleticism, albeit my heart skips a beat every time I see Wilson diving into contact.
In the second half, Wilson continued to make mature throws and decisions. When under pressure in the end zone he hit Michael Carter and again was sensible in making a clutch completion to Jeff Smith on 3rd-and-4 when the Jets were holding on to just a two-point lead.
Of course, there were occasional slip-ups with Wilson trying to force the ball downfield on fourth down when Tyler Conklin was available as a short option. This is once again a reminder that Wilson is still learning and that there are some areas of his game that need cleaning up.
The fourth quarter was no different from the consistency he showed earlier in the game. Wilson continued to make sensible throws, moving the chains, and allowing the Jets to run up 21 unanswered points in the final 15 minutes.
Overall, Wilson played a really nice game for the Jets. He showed ideal poise and control in what was a perfect example of being a game manager as a quarterback.
He did not try and force the ball or be the hero, he put trust in the players around him to lead the team to victory, and made important throws on third down when it was on him to keep the drive going.
Overall Grade: B+
There wasn’t much to fault about Zach Wilson’s performance. His stat line won’t garner attention, but at the same time, he didn’t need to put up a stat line that gained attention. He did exactly what was required of him, adapted to the flow of the game, and played safe football when needed.
It is so far so good for the second-year QB, and the tension is building over what he can do as the main man in New York, and whether he can add to these performances as the Jets face a tough away trip to Green Bay this Sunday.