In the biggest game of the season and with two weeks of preparation, NY Jets quarterback Zach Wilson had a game that was the most unsettling for his long-term future with the franchise so far this season.
There seemed to be some sighting of the same quarterback that upset the Bills early on in Week 11. Wilson was choosing to run the ball somewhat effectively and had a couple of encouraging throws early on.
Then, as it has far too often in his young career, a (bad) switch flipped where he became really bad really quick and never recovered. In short, Zach Wilson showed an inability to read the field, make accurate throws, or have a feel for the game when it mattered most.
The game was there to be had too. The Jets' defense gave a heroic effort to keep the team alive while battling unfavorable field position. The bare minimum on offense was needed to come out of New England with a victory and that low bar was not even met.
In previous poor performances for Zach Wilson, oftentimes it is him being careless with the ball or trying to make throws he is not yet capable of.
In this game, while he had a couple of throws that should have been interceptions, the biggest issue was that Wilson doesn't appear to be able to master the '101' level of football.
NY Jets QB Zach Wilson continues to hold the team back
Wilson has succeeded when conditions are great for him, but if that's not the case his play usually drops significantly. Not being able to play through adversity is not the quality you want in a quarterback.
Wilson missed players on simple throws and also missed them on reads where there were plenty of opportunities to move the ball down the field in a game that needed it just once.
You could point to other performances that were more alarming statistically this season such as the other game against the Patriots.
However, in the context of what this game means for the playoff picture as well as other narratives going into the matchup, it was when the Jets needed Wilson the most.
The team around Zach Wilson has taken a big jump and from a consistency standpoint, he has yet to take a step. Wilson is running out of times that Jets fans should be able to ask " is this the worst we've seen Wilson so far?"
As if his play on the field weren't bad enough, Wilson has a lot to answer to based on his responses after the game. He has seemingly turned himself into a polarizing presence in the organization for the lack of respect he showed towards the rest of the group that is keeping them in the game.
He has seemingly turned himself into a polarizing presence in the organization for the lack of respect he showed towards the rest of the group that is keeping them in the game.
Wilson is in a position where he is forcing management to seriously consider benching him if he is not going to play well on Sundays and becomes a negative in the locker room.
This feels like a career-defining stretch for Wilson, at least in terms of his long-term potential as the Jets quarterback.