Jets sticking with QB Zach Wilson despite recent offensive struggles

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New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) in the first half on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, in East Rutherford. Nfl Ny Jets Vs Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars At Jets

Just three weeks ago, the New York Jets (4-5) were winners of three straight behind 21.3 points per game. Since then, the offense has reeled behind quarterback Zach Wilson, but that has not deflated Jets head coach Robert Saleh’s confidence in him.

Jets’ Robert Saleh Not Anxious to Make QB Switch Amidst Aaron Rodgers News

As ABC’s Rich Cimini reported, Saleh had this to say about Wilson’s ebbs-and-flows with the Jets holding on in the AFC East race:

“He’s much better than he was a year ago. He’s year one in a new system — a system that was built for Aaron — let’s be real — and we’re trying to make a shift to where everyone is comfortable, Saleh said. “I think [Wilson] is doing a good job. It’s not all perfect — there’s been some peaks and valleys — but [Sunday] we were moving the ball. … To try to pinpoint it all on one person, with everything that’s been happening, I don’t see how that’s productive.”

News of Aaron Rodgers’ impending return in mid-December puts pressure on the Jets to position themselves for a playoff spot when he’s ready to suit up. Wilson was doing exactly that before their recent 0-2 skid against the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders.

Where Wilson and the Jets Have Struggled in Recent Weeks

Wilson failed to throw a single touchdown in either game and made matters worse by relinquishing an interception against the Raiders. The Jets as a unit saw a dip in third-down success, particularly against the Chargers, and are not carrying the same momentum they did weeks prior.

Saleh’s assessment of the offense being catered more toward Rodgers is accurate. Wilson has not been known for having a particularly big arm, averaging 7.6 intended air yards per attempt, and relies on his mobility and savvy out of the pocket to make plays.

The receiving corp. led by Garrett Wilson have found ways to get theirs on offense, but the running game has struggled greatly. Though occurring in a short two-game span, this may not be enough to cause a knee-jerk reaction outside of the Jets’ coaching staff.

The Road Ahead For the Jets

The Jets have two huge tests coming up. Their upcoming matchup against the Buffalo Bills will pit Wilson against a defense that is second in sacks (33), though they’ve given up the eighth-most passing 1st downs (116). After that, the Jets will host the red-hot Miami Dolphins, who despite running up the scoreboard, rack up the second-fewest interceptions (4) and have conceded 14 touchdowns in the air on the year.

Should the Jets lose out in their next two games, it may still be untimely to pull Wilson, as Rodgers could come back as soon as their matchup with the Houston Texans on Dec. 10.

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