The last time a NY Jets player was named Offensive Rookie of the Year, the Super Bowl didn't even exist yet. Fast-forward nearly 60 years later and wide receiver Garrett Wilson has a chance to make franchise history.
While most of the attention has gone to rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner and his pursuit of the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award, Wilson is making a strong case of his own to win the offensive version of the award.
In fact, his path to being named this season's Offensive Rookie of the Year is perhaps clearer than any of his fellow competitors.
Current betting odds have Wilson slightly behind Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker in the award race with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson and New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave not far behind them.
Of the four, Wilson has the greatest chance to make some serious noise over the final five weeks of the season.
Why Garrett Wilson seems primed to win Offensive Rookie of the Year
Wilson has been a victim of poor quarterback play for much of the season. He's still on pace for over 1,100 receiving yards, but it's hard not to imagine what his production would look like if he received even a little more help from his quarterbacks.
Nonetheless, that help has seemingly come over the last two weeks. Wilson has shined since the Jets made the switch to Mike White, leading all wide receivers with 257 yards since Week 12.
He hauled in five catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns in his first game with White two weeks ago and followed that up with an electric eight-catch, 162-yard performance this past Sunday.
Wilson's stock is trending up as the Jets approach a Week 14 matchup with the Buffalo Bills, and there's no reason to expect it to slow down. The Jets actually have the third-easiest projected schedule in terms of pass defenses over the final five weeks of the season, per Pro Football Focus.
The opportunities for targets have been there with White, and the opportunities for continued production should continue with a favorable set of opponents upcoming.
As for his competition, Olave continues to deal with inconsistent quarterback play in New Orleans, Watson has been relying on a likely unsustainable scoring spree, and Walker is dealing with a foot injury that could sideline him for at least a week.
Wilson has quickly gained ground on his fellow rookies and might just be the odds-on favorite to win the award a week from now.
The last Jets player to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year was the legendary Joe Namath way back in 1965, one year before the first Super Bowl was played. The Jets have never had a player named Offensive Rookie of the Year while playing in the NFL.
Garrett Wilson could become the first. And right now, if he remains on this pace, that will be the likely outcome.