The New York Jets are off to a 6-4 start to the season thanks in large part to a very good defense. Given that is head coach Robert Saleh’s area of expertise, it shouldn’t come as a huge shock that the defense came around quicker than the offense, but considering the Jets invested the second overall pick into quarterback Zach Wilson two years ago, the hope was for some signs of positive development from him this season.
To this point, Wilson has continued to be shaky under center. He’s completing just 55.6 percent of his passes for 1,279 yards, four touchdowns, and five interceptions through seven games, and his numbers are nearly identical to his rookie season. The Jets have been winning, but it’s often felt like wins in spite of their starter, rather than because of him, and after the worst performance of the season in a 10-3 loss to the Patriots on Sunday, there’s been plenty of chatter about Wilson’s future.
Wilson hasn’t exactly been helping his case off the field, as he bristled at the idea that the offense let down the defense in a game where they put up 103 total yards after Sunday’s loss, and there were reports some inside the locker room weren’t pleased with him not taking much responsibility for the Jets’ offense’s poor play.
.@Connor_J_Hughes: “Do you feel like you let the defense down at all?”
Zach Wilson: “No.” pic.twitter.com/tiJiTSrFPE
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) November 20, 2022
On Monday, Robert Saleh was more than 90 minutes late for his press conference, with the Jets citing “meetings” as the reason for the delay, and when he did arrive he said the staff was going to watch tape and he would not commit to starting Wilson on Sunday against the Bears.
Robert Saleh says he will evaluate game tape from yesterday and will “keep everything on the table” in regards to who will be the quarterback on Sunday
Saleh said he will not commit to Zach Wilson starting vs. the Bears right now. pic.twitter.com/JvZ28uHOX8
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) November 21, 2022
Chicago represents a winnable game for the Jets and one they almost certainly have to have if they’re going to keep playoff hopes alive, and after one of the worst offensive performances from any team all year, it’s understandable why Saleh would be evaluating everything, including his quarterback situation. That said, it’s not great for Wilson that there’s already questions about whether he should keep his starting role — particularly since the other options are Joe Flacco and Mike White — and if the Jets were to make a move, it’d be hard to imagine how that relationship could be repaired going forward. Still, the results speak for themselves and while Wilson is far from solely to blame for New York’s offensive struggles, his erratic play at the most important position invites lots of scrutiny in an unforgiving business.