Very few expected the NY Jets to be in a very tight game with Patrick Mahomes' Kansas City Chiefs, and even fewer expected such a narrow 23-20 loss. Next to no one outside of the state of Utah expected Zach Wilson to play the best game of his short professional career.
Wilson completed 28 of his 39 passes, setting a personal record for completions in an NFL game. With 239 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions, it's hard to look at what Wilson did against a very tough defense with so much outside pressure and come away less than impressed.
In an equally surprising twist, Mahomes was intercepted twice on two horrid throws while seeing another pick dropped by CJ Mosley and a third interception overturned by a bogus holding call. Wilson was clearly the better quarterback tonight, which is not what Mahomes-led teams are used to seeing.
Wilson became the first quarterback in Mahomes' college and professional career to have more completions, passing yards, and touchdowns while throwing fewer interceptions. In 127 starts, only Wilson can claim to have gone toe to toe with Mahomes and outplayed him in every aspect.
NY Jets QB Zach Wilson outplayed Patrick Mahomes vs. Chiefs
In much the same way that Josh Allen got frustrated, it seemed like Mahomes was trying to make big plays happen against a very good secondary that wants to limit explosives down the field and force Kansas City to sustain long drives. Mahomes took chances, and he was not rewarded for it.
Wilson didn't play well all on his own. Breece Hall ripped off some big runs, Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard both had their best games of the season, and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett broke out one of the most effective gameplans in his entire career as a playcaller.
However, Wilson put together a performance that reignited the team's faith in him. He was ripping big throws, confidently throwing into tight windows, and making plays when the pocket breaks down. It should be noted he did this against a Chiefs defense that had surrendered just three touchdowns before this game.
It remains to be seen if Wilson is going to sustain his hot play and turn that into another solid performance against the Broncos, but the fact he was able to stare Mahomes dead in the eyes and outplay him has to feel good for the beleaguered quarterback.