There's been a lot of hype and hoopla around the recent play of NY Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, and some fans (and media) seem to believe that perhaps Wilson isn't so bad after all.
He played the best game of his career on Sunday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs and then was able to blend in with his teammates as they pushed for a 31-21 victory against the Denver Broncos the next week.
That Sunday night game was the first time in Wilson's career that he threw more than one touchdown in a game and didn’t throw an interception. Just four games into his career, rookie Anthony Richardson has already accomplished this feat. C.J. Stroud has done that thrice in his five games in the NFL.
Three-year veteran Zach Wilson has only had one game over 200 yards in five games played this season. Bryce Young has played in three games on a much worse team and has had two out of three.
Stroud hasn’t even had a game below 242 yards in his five-game NFL career, while Wilson's season-high is 249. Richardson, who has only played in two full games from start to finish, threw for 200+ yards in both full games he played.
Overall, Wilson is playing worse than rookies who have much less talent around them.
Over the last two weeks, he has 448 yards for two touchdowns and one interception. Those are pedestrian stats against one decent defense (Chiefs) and the league’s worst defense so far (Broncos).
While Nathaniel Hackett’s fancy play-calling and pre-snap motion helped dress up the offense a bit, Wilson still showed his inability to read a defense, feel the pocket, or make plays without picture-perfect circumstances around him. Oh, and it also helps if the defense gets him a bunch of turnovers.
What does the future hold for NY Jets quarterback Zach Wilson?
So, no, it doesn't quite look like he has turned a corner yet, but maybe it's still coming. 72.3 percent completion is nothing to scoff at, even if one of those games was against a team that was allowing QBs to throw for 78 percent on average.
Wilson's performance against the Chiefs was inarguably a spectacular performance for Zach Wilson, but I'm unsure if we'd still be talking about it if it was any other QB in the league.
We get excited to see someone on the career trajectory of JaMarcus Russell suddenly have a stat line that resembles Jimmy Garoppolo, and fans start to believe that Wilson (like Garoppolo) can make it to the Super Bowl.
Today's game against a tough Philadelphia Eagles team (even without Darius Slay and Jalen Carter) will go a long way toward proving this 'turned corner' to be fact or fiction because I don't think the league's best run defense (61.2 rushing yards allowed per game) will allow Breece Hall to rush for 177 yards like Denver did.
I also don't think the offense (fifth in points) will cough up the turnovers that Kansas City did. So, what will happen if the game hinges on Wilson specifically being the sole catalyst to success? Time will tell.