I don’t know what narrative the readers follow regarding Zach Wilson, or what their ideal scenario was for this Jets team prior to draft night, but if you can’t see the steps forward from this young quarterback then I think you simply don’t like him.
22-year-old Zach Wilson just went punch for punch with Tom Brady and should have beaten him – barring a bizarre miscommunication on a 4th down call. The kid played lights out, turnover-free football for four quarters against the defending Super Bowl Champions, while missing his starting receivers, tight ends, and 2/5 of his offensive line! That, my friends, is progress.
The mere fact that since returning from injury, Wilson has had numerous games (Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay) that are being debated as his best games of the season, is a great sign! Since his return from injury in week 12, he has thrown for 1079 yards, 56% completion, 4 passing touchdowns and 4 rushing touchdowns and has only 2 interceptions! Oh and the Jets have been competitive in every game but one…
This is tangible progress from the rookie and from this team as we close out the season.
1. Mike LaFleur called another brilliant game. Kudos to him for getting Wilson in a groove early and continuing to build off of that as the game went on. You can make an argument that MLF has been the most improved Jet this season.
2. The Jets young cornerback group has easily been the most impressive unit on the team this season. I think Bryce Hall is an answer at one spot, and Echols may be another. But at least you know that you have depth pieces for the future, at a minimum.
3. Braxton Berrios should be extended… immediately. What a player.
4. I’m glad we got some clarification on the 4th down play call late in the game… It was a bad decision by Wilson to not go to Berrios on the reverse, but I love the aggressiveness to go for it there. Good by Saleh.
5. A close 2nd place to point #2 above would be the offensive line. This coaching staff has done a great job with this unit, and they continue to get better. There is no bigger proof than having the running game they did today against Tampa Bay with Dan Feeney and Chuma Edoga playing big roles. However, this unit is in no way a finished product.
6. Good for Kenny Yeboah for making plays down the middle of the field. It was nice to see a TE make a catch in the seam. Tight end is the biggest need for this offense to address in the offseason. Joe Douglas should make moves in both free agency and the draft.
7. Is it too much to ask for one game to go by where a Jets receiver doesn’t have a crucial, boneheaded drop?
8. Seeing Robert Saleh need his get back coach to pull him off the field after a Tom Brady sack may have been the highlight of the season for me.
9. The Jets defense actually played well today and held up vs. a good Buccaneers offense. You fault them for giving up a 3rd and 20 and for the final drive, but they held their own for most of the day and deserve credit. Per the usual with this team, it’s an insanely low bar to clear but they did it today.
10. The biggest needs the Jets have this offseason are: TE, IOL, WR, Edge, LB, CB and both safeties. My early feeling is to address offense heavy with 3 of the top 4 picks in the draft and try to solve your defensive problems during free agency.
March and May are going to be so unbelievably fun. I believe that there is a clear vision here from Douglas and Saleh and they realize the need to compete in 2022. The Jets have money to spend, draft capital to play with, and a QB and Coach to build for. This will be a wild ride and it will never fail to entertain us…