The TOJ Roundtable returns for the 2021-2022 season, where the TOJ writers gather around the aptly-named round table to discuss all things New York Football Jets this coming season. Make sure to follow every writer on Twitter.
What will New York Jets QB Zach Wilson’s stat line be for this coming season?
I’ve already gone on record, most recently on the Trap Or Die podcast, that I think Jets QB Zach Wilson wins NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. I think it is a two-QB race between him and Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence and I think Wilson, because of a Jets defense that will keep games close enough to give him some signature moments in pursuit of an award generally given to QBs who produce those, ends up edging out the former first-overall pick. A first-year stat line of 24 TDs, 4 interceptions, and 3896 yards is on the docket for the young signal-caller as he mirrors Cowboys QB Dak Prescott’s statistical averages for his rookie season. Those numbers, plus an 8-9 record for the Jets, propels him towards some hardware.
My predicted stat line for Zach Wilson in this 2021 17-game regular season is 3750 passing yards, 28 TDs, 15 INTs, 62% Comp, and 7.1 Y/A. I believe the Jets will rely steadily on the run game, as Wilson acclimates to the NFL game. When he’s let loose, he can be a bit of a risk-taker so he won’t be without a nice chunk of turnovers. However, the good will noticeably outweigh the bad with Wilson.
For his rookie season, I predict Zach to throw for 3620 yards, 25 TD’s, and 7 INTs with a completion percentage of 64% and a Y/A of 7.4. The Jets are going to be a run-first offense this year, I do not expect to see many games with Zach throwing the ball 40 times a game. Zach was a low turnover guy in college never throwing double digits picks in any of his 3 years starting and I do not expect that trend to stop once he gets to the NFL. We will not have to talk about Zach making a 2nd-year leap 12 months from now because he will be good from the jump.
I predict Zach Wilson will throw for 24 TD’s and 13 interceptions in 2021. These are very reasonable numbers to ask from a 2nd overall pick in today’s NFL. 24 TDs is a number only eight Jets QBs have reached before. The combination of a more aggressive and modern offense and a 17th game will help Zach reach the touchdown threshold. If healthy for all 17 games, Zach will throw for 3,700 yards.
Love Matty highlighting the more modern offense, but I think The Jets offense is predicated on running the ball (a little old school philosophy), and I believe that will somewhat hinder Wilson’s stat line. That said, I feel a 17-game season with 3750 passing yards, 23 TDs, 15 INTs, 62% completion percentage, 7.0 Y/A, 50 rushing attempts for 225 yards, and two touchdowns on the ground is realistic production. Not even Aaron Rodgers topped 7.0 Y/A his first season under Matt LaFleur, and Baker Mayfield averaged 222 Y/G in a comparable offense last year. Look for similar numbers in those categories for Wilson. While it’s not the sexiest prediction, I think it’s a good start to a career and something to build on for the future.
For me, Zach Wilson over a 17-game season rookie year will throw for 3525 yards, 24 TDs, 10 INTs, 68% Comp, and 7.5 Y/A. I think the Jets are going to rely early and often on the run game: the use of a ton of outside zone will be to take advantage of the team’s speed and get Wilson in ALOT of early quick reads and play action. This will be done, in my opinion, to help build his confidence as he starts out the year facing two great defensive coaches in Bill Belicheck and Vic Fangio. I think he’ll take some big-time shots downfield and convert big plays but work to minimize turnovers. I think it’ll be a strong OROY-type season from Wilson and lead into a huge 2022.
I agree with Will on this point: given the offense will rely so heavily on the run, I don’t foresee Zach Wilson throwing the ball a ton. I disagree with how generous everyone is with their predicted stat lines given the acknowledgment that the Jets will be a run-heavy team. Over a 17 game season, I look for Wilson to just eclipse 3,000 yards with a total of 3,196 yards. I expect a touchdown to interception ratio of around 22 to 12 and a completion percentage of around 63%. Look for an average of around 6.9 Y/A as well. It’s not that I don’t think Wilson will light things up, but between the heavy rushing attack LaFleur will install coupled with just the natural progression for a rookie over a 17 game season, his production will be handicapped slightly. All in all, I expect a strong season with a very good last 4-5 games.
I can see Wilson having a year where he goes for 3567 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions with a 7.8 Y/A. I think we can expect to see more pushing the ball downfield as the season progresses and as Wilson gets more acquainted with the offense. I think we’ll see a strong run game reliance within the first couple of weeks and week over week we see more of the Jets lengthening the leash for Wilson and what they call.
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