Leave it to a rookie to call his first win "fun." NY Jets quarterback Zach Wilson won his first NFL game on Sunday, and just for a moment, an entire country of Jets fans trembled with indescribable joy.
But for Wilson, the game was just "fun." And why shouldn't it have been?
In a post-game interview, a reporter asked rather pointedly if Wilson was having any "fun."
"I am. It’s an interesting fun, though. It’s a roller-coaster game for sure, the emotions very up and down. You need to come through in clutch moments. I’m glad we can learn from a win. That’s the best way to do it."- Zach Wilson
Wilson doesn't need to explain the emotional "roller-coaster" of playing for the Jets franchise to his fans. Most Jets fans have already lived 10 lifetimes worth of roller-coaster rides in a single NFL season.
For all the things Wilson has done poorly in the last four weeks of the season — for all the interceptions, the booing, the sacks, and the frustration, Wilson is right about this. "You need to come through in clutch moments." Wilson, for all his football deficiencies, did.
In Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans, Wilson wasn't perfect, but he was damn good enough. He went 21-of-34 for 297 yards and two touchdowns.
Zach Wilson shined in the NY Jets' first win of the 2021 season
By now, a Jets game wouldn't be a Jets game without a Wilson interception, and Wilson fulfilled that quota in the second quarter when Corey Davis slipped on the turf. But that was his lone turnover for the game, and the rest is, well, history.
Wilson put New York ahead in the fourth quarter when he rolled out of the pocket, directed Davis downfield, and threw a 53-yard bomb to his No. 1 wideout for a score. That wasn't his only deep strike: Wilson found Keelan Cole for a 54-yard pass as well.
Wilson's ability to throw and tenacity to keep the Jets in the game reminded everyone why he was the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
While we wouldn't use "clutch" to describe Wilson just yet, he didn't let his team down this time. Let the kid make a habit out of "clutch" performances, and then we'll see if the Jets can truly depend on Wilson under pressure.
The rookie showed flashes of becoming an elite quarterback in the future, and in many ways, this is just Wilson living up to his potential.
He's been carrying the enormous weight of a hopeful Jets franchise since the beginning of the season, and now, just a single ounce has been lifted.
Wilson might have had his "fun" and gotten his first taste of victory, but he and the rest of the Jets know it's back to work next week. And on chugs the proverbial rollercoaster.