NY Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is coming off one of the worst games of his NFL career. Since returning from injury in Week 4, Wilson hasn't done much to inspire confidence that he's the guy the Jets should build around for the foreseeable future.
That's not to say there haven't been positive takeaways. Wilson was the one who willed the Jets back in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers to lead them to victory. For the most part, Wilson has also avoided back-breaking turnovers.
Wilson has had his moments, but Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos was the latest setback in what has been an up-and-down two years for the former second-overall pick. And it isn't going to get any easier for him moving forward.
The Jets lost likely their two most important offensive players in the span of one quarter on Sunday as both running back Breece Hall and offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker were lost to season-ending injuries.
This Jets offense ran through Hall. Vera-Tucker was the ever-reliable chess piece that could start at any position along the offensive line and perform at a high level. Without them, this Jets offense is going to be substantially worse.
That is, of course, unless Wilson does his part.
Zach Wilson is entering the most important stretch of his NY Jets career
The Jets drafted Wilson with the hope and belief that he could become the franchise quarterback the organization has been searching decades for. They traded away their previous franchise hopeful, Sam Darnold, to facilitate the transition.
Darnold has floundered in Carolina and the Jets certainly don't regret that decision. As far as Wilson is concerned, the jury is still out. His rookie season was undoubtedly a disappointment, but the hope was that the former BYU star would take a sizable leap forward in his sophomore campaign.
To this point, he hasn't. Again, there have been positives, but it's hard to argue this Jets offense isn't handicapped by their quarterback play at the moment. That much was very evident on Sunday.
With no Hall, the Jets will be forced to lean more on Wilson moving forward. That was always going to be the case, even with Hall. There was always going to come a time when the Jets needed Wilson to make the plays he was drafted to make.
To this point, he's struggled to do so. He's frequently inaccurate outside the hash marks, he misses the easy layups, he's a trainwreck when under pressure, and the game just seems too fast for him at times.
He's a young quarterback and he's still growing, but that excuse can only be used for so long. If the Jets are going to make a legitimate playoff run — and with this roster, they most certainly can — they're going to need better production from the quarterback position.
Right now they're 5-2 despite bottom-five production at the position this season. That's a testament to the roster general manager Joe Douglas has constructed over the last few years.
When the Jets drafted Wilson, head coach Robert Saleh famously told his new QB that the organization was going to lift him, not the other way around.
Well, the Jets need Zach Wilson to lift them now. They need their prized draft pick to become the player they always believed he could be.
If not, the future of both Wilson and the Jets will grow more uncertain by the week.