4- Zach Wilson's play handcuffs the NY Jets coaches
This is the most important piece of the puzzle right now. During the game, many fans were quick to criticize offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett for his inability to call plays that put the Jets in successful situations.
As a former play-caller myself, when you have no faith in the quarterback to be able to throw the ball consistently or accurately, it makes it very difficult to call plays. Is Hackett great at calling plays? No. Absolutely not. He never has been and never will be.
The lack of playing time for Jeremy Ruckert and Mecole Hardman is inexcusable at this point. His complete lack of usage for Breece Hall against Dallas is not okay. There has been very little first-down play-action used at all. This is all true, and it's all not good for an offensive coordinator.
But what exactly is he supposed to do? If Wilson came out in a spread offense every play with four receivers on the field and went full gun-slinger, would that be any better? Yes, that means Hardman would play more, but at what cost?
Do we want Wilson throwing it that much on first down? Or even second down? I mean, the guy is the worst quarterback in the league in almost every available stat. If he doesn't run it enough, we get mad at him. When he runs it on early downs, we get mad at him. It's a lose-lose for Hackett.
The most alarming thing Sunday against the Patriots was that receivers seemed to not be open down the field. Wilson was holding it forever and then settling for inaccurate check-downs for little to no gain, or as Tony Romo put it on the broadcast, "There goes Wilson running for his life again to avoid no pressure."
However, as many analysts and fans have now been commenting, the All-22 camera angle reveals something different than what was seen live. All day long, Zach Wilson had open receivers down the field and open for checkdowns. He either wouldn't throw it or would throw it far too late.
Below are just some of the most blatant examples of Wilson missing open receivers despite great pass protection that any other NFL quarterback would have seen.
These plays show a consistent and troubling theme. First, there are guys open everywhere across the field on a fairly routine basis. Hackett is designing plays that create separation and space for his playmakers. Also, it shows maybe why Randall Cobb is playing so much... the guy gets open every play.
But it also shows so many issues with Wilson. He isn't seeing the field at all. Even simple crosses and drags across the middle that are wide open, Wilson is just missing. He doesn't see the easy corner to Cobb or multiple wide-open fades to Garrett Wilson that should be huge plays.
Most alarmingly, all of these plays have "good" pass protection. On more than a few occasions, Wilson actually runs into the pressure himself. He's creating the pressure by leaving the pocket early. This has been a consistent issue for Wilson throughout his first three years.
These clips also show just a lack of basic football comprehension by Wilson. For example, when the end loops from the left side towards the middle, you must scramble to that vacated area, not the other way.
When a middle linebacker blitzes, you must throw the quick slant to Cobb into that vacated area. When it's 4th-and-10, you must throw the ball to the sticks, not well short. These are basic things that any high schooler is taught.