Zach Wilson and the NY Jets must start fast against the Chargers

The Jets have an opportunity this week against a struggling defense
NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

We all know that the NY Jets and Giants game was a hideous sight to behold. Breece Hall’s 50-yard touchdown was the first time the Jets scored a touchdown in the first quarter all season.

It was just the second time all season that they weren’t shut out in the first quarter, which would be dead last in the league if the New York Giants didn’t exist. Hall’s touchdown helped create some distance between the 31st-ranked Jets and 32nd-ranked Giants.

There was a time last year when the saving grace for this stat was saying, “Hey, they make it up by leading the league in fourth-quarter scoring,” but that is not the case this year.

They currently rank 17th in the NFL in fourth-quarter points, 22nd in second-quarter points, and 21st in third-quarter points. Maybe it’s worth noting that they lead the league in overtime points scored. Is that a stat worth being proud of?

Probably not, so they should seriously work on getting this offense in rhythm from the opening drive. Despite that Hall touchdown, the first-quarter offense against the Giants was not looking great either.

At that point, the offensive line was still intact, and the rain hadn’t picked up, so I don’t like using those excuses, but I also don’t want to hurl a heap of hate onto Zach Wilson.

Zach Wilson and the entire NY Jets must be better in Week 9

While this is ultimately his responsibility, it is a collaborative effort between him, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, the offensive line, and each individual skill position player to execute and move the ball down the field. Assuming that everyone does their job, it’s on Wilson to protect the ball and give it to his playmakers in space to make magic happen.

People will probably harp on how bad the Chargers pass defense has been. Ryan Tannehill, who was just benched for a third-round rookie QB who puts mayo in his coffee, was able to complete 20 of his 24 passes for 246 yards and one touchdown against the Chargers.

Aidan O’Connell, who I know nothing about because I didn’t take the time to Google his name, threw 238 yards in a one-score loss to the Chargers.

Tyson Bagent, the undrafted rookie QB who was signed merely to be practice squad fodder, still threw for 232 yards this past week against the Chargers. Bagent’s 232 was the fewest passing yards Los Angeles allowed in a game this year.

Wilson has only thrown over 200 yards twice all season — 245 against the Chiefs and 240 against the Giants. The last time he was facing a defense with horrific season numbers and I predicted a Wilson breakout, he embarrassed me at Mile High Stadium, so perhaps some unresolved PTSD from that incident is preventing me from being optimistic here.

I don’t see him throwing 300+ yards or for multiple scores like the Chargers’ defense usually gives up, but let’s pray I’m wrong. In my eyes, Hall is still the X-factor.

He needs to be fed the ball in the run game, and if he’s getting stuffed (like he was against the Giants), they must feed him in the passing game and let the kid make people miss in space (like he did against the Giants).

That is how bell cow backs deliver — by being fed time and time again, they will get into their groove and churn out production. It would be quite a pleasant surprise to see Zach sling it to Garrett Wilson again, have Lazard hold onto balls that come to him, and Conklin remain "Ol' Reliable" in the middle.

One thing I will say for you optimistic Jets fans is that I’m willing to bet the farm that Wilson's numbers next Sunday on primetime vs. the Raiders will surpass his numbers from this Monday night affair.