A Glimpse Into the Future Or a Flash in the Pan

by John Pagnotta | Oct 4, 2023 | General | 0 comments

Photo Credit: sportsillustrated.com
There were a lot of different reports (mostly negative ones) swirling around QB Zach Wilson after another inexcusable performance (18/36, 158 yds) in Week 3 against the Patriots. Whether it was about the defense’s growing tension towards head coach Robert Saleh’s decision to stick with Zach Wilson or Sunday night possibly being Zach’s last game, it was not a good look at all. Having to deal with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce was a challenge of its own with or without Rodgers..

Any chance that the Jets had of winning the game looked very bleak at the start. It was 17-0 Chiefs after the first quarter and the Jets punted on their first 3 drives. Patrick Mahomes had over 100 passing yards and they were dominating New York. However, life began to show when a holding penalty by the Chiefs got the Jets a safety and the ball back. Then, Zach Wilson began to look like a #2 overall pick. He showed lots of confidence and poise in the pocket as he led a 62 yd drive to get NY back in the game with a field goal. Zach then capitalized off a rough INT from Mahomes to throw a touchdown to C.J. Uzomah to make it 17-12. By this point, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. How did the Jets make it a game in nearly 7 minutes after looking terrible offensively against the Patriots? A field goal by Harrison Butker and a missed attempt by Greg Zuerlein made it a 20-12 Chiefs lead at the half.

The 3rd quarter couldn’t have been a better start for the Jets. Zach Wilson continued a very surprising performance by going 5/5 with 75 yds and throwing a tight pass to Allen Lazard for a TD. His ability to escape a sack and run for a 2-point conversion to tie the game showed Zach’s athleticism and speed. Several punts followed before the Chiefs retook the lead with another FG by Butker. A 4th quarter drive that started out so greatly ended abruptly as Wilson fumbled the ball and the Chiefs recovered at midfield. Now, you can blame a bad snap, but it dampened the performance of the QB.

At the time, it was fine. There was still 7:24 left in the 4th quarter. The best case scenario is that the Chiefs kick a field goal and the Jets get the ball back with at LEAST one chance to score. However, the last 7:24 was filled with lots of flags and several controversial calls that went against the Jets. For example, one no-call was DE Jermaine Johnson getting held for about 15 seconds on a 3rd & 23. Instead, Mahomes ran for a 25 yd first down and C.J. Mosley got a flag for illegal contact. Just 2 minutes later, it is 3rd & 20 at the NY 40. All the Jets need is a stop and the Chiefs would likely kick a field goal. This is what ensued: Patrick Mahomes throws his 3rd INT of the game to CB Michael Carter, and the referee throws a flag AFTER Carter catches the ball. The flag is called for holding on star CB Sauce Gardner. Robert Saleh completely lost it, Sauce Gardner couldn’t believe it, and MetLife Stadium erupted with loud boos. This leads to the Chiefs getting bailed out again, and they eventually win the game after running the clock out.

Photo Credit: sportsillustrated.com
You can blame a lot of things on the Jets losing this game. The costly fumble, the dropped passes, the referees, or even Taylor Swift (yes,Taylor Swift). But, it was such a shame seeing the Jets’ record be 1-3 instead of 2-2 after such a great game by the team. Zach Wilson possibly played his best NFL game (28/39, 245 passing yds, 2 TD) and looked the most comfortable with a very improved O-line from the first 3 weeks. The offensive line only giving up 2 sacks against star DT Chris Jones and Kansas City is a big improvement from how it looked against Dallas and Buffalo. Star WR Garrett Wilson (9-60-0), WR Allen Lazard (3-61-1), and star RB Breece Hall (9 touches, 69 yds) had big games for the Jets. The defense had a very encouraging performance, causing Patrick Mahomes to play one of his worst NFL games to date (18/30, 203 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT)

So, is this type of performance from Zach Wilson something to expect? No, but it is a big step in the right direction for Zach and the coaching staff. Zach was able to perform plays that suited his strengths and his awareness was excellent as he didn’t have 1 ugly pass attempt. If Wilson can look this good and improve throughout the season, the Jets may have a chance to be playing football in mid-January. Let’s see if he can keep the momentum going against Sean Payton and the Denver Broncos..

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My name is John Pagnotta and I live in Queens, NY. I am a sophomore at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School. I am a huge fan of the Jets, Mets, Islanders, and Knicks. I started following sports when I was around 7 years old and I have not lost love for it ever since!

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