Why has the national media turned its back on NY Jets QB Zach Wilson?
Now to answer the all important question: why has Zach Wilson received the ire of, not only Jets fans, but seemingly the rest of the league?
Could it be he's not a leader? That can't be the case. His teammates elected him captain prior to the season, which was the first time a rookie quarterback had ever been selected for the franchise.
There was also the notion that, after his injury and during that magical Mike White game, Wilson was upset to see the offense ran so smoothly by White and Josh Johnson. That wasn't the case either, as Wilson explained that he wanted White to perform well and was excited when he did.
Wilson has been nothing but positive and mature about his situation since coming to the team in April. He's been happy about wins, praised his teammates, and has accepted his mistakes when he makes them. Wilson has also shown flashes of what he can be in the games against the Eagles and the Titans.
Showing promise and progress is what the expectations should be for a rookie quarterback. Players like Justin Herbert and Baker Mayfield should be seen as the exception to these, not the standard. Wilson is growing at his own pace, and took a massive step forward against Philly despite what you might read from tweets and reports.
So, the ultimate answer to the question of why Zach Wilson has been lampooned by just about everybody and their mother?
The Jets don't have an identity right now. They have had some of the worst football teams over the last few years. They hired a laughing stock in Adam Gase as their head coach, keeping him for two years, and allowed Mike Maccagnan to throw money at players that wouldn't play out their contracts like Trumaine Johnson and Le'Veon Bell.
Their last winning season was in 2015, and even then they missed the playoffs in embarrassing fashion. Similar to how the Browns were the butt of jokes for most of the 2000s and 2010s, the Jets have become the next in line since the Browns can actually compete.
And in the biggest market, with the most eyes watching, of course the player in the most important position that was drafted second overall is going to have the finger pointed at him. In the NFL, whether we agree with it or not, winning and losing will always fall on the quarterback.
Not to mention that the NY Jets don't have a face of the franchise. Kansas City has Patrick Mahomes. Indianapolis has Jonathan Taylor. Tennessee has Derrick Henry. Who sticks out on the Jets? Michael Carter and Elijah Moore have been good, but not enough to garner widespread attention.
Wilson is the player everybody knows, and therefore is going to unfairly catch most of the negativity. The Jets have been losers for the last decade, and the toxicity is only just now being cleaned out.
All that the fans can do is buckle down and hope that Robert Saleh, Zach Wilson, and Joe Douglas can lift this team from the gutter.
That all starts with improvement. The Jets need to be taken seriously again. How does that start? It's exactly what Zach Wilson always says: