New York Jets Need to Shut Down Rookie QB Zach Wilson

Zach Wilson New York Jets

Getty New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson walking off the football field after a successful day at the office.

All things considered, this preseason has been an unmitigated success for the New York Jets.

The team is undefeated so far in the preseason (2-0) and has a chance to finish the job vs the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, August 27. Here’s a fun fact, if they’re able to beat Philly, they’d complete the first Gang Green perfect preseason since 2002.

What does that mean? Absolutely nothing but it’s a cool statistic.

Although beyond the preseason wins and overall records, rookie quarterback Zach Wilson has lived up to the hype as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

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Best Rookie Quarterback This Preseason

Wilson has looked like he belongs and has delivered when given an opportunity:

  • During the preseason, the former BYU passer is 5-for-5 for 94 yards and a touchdown on throws 10+ yards down the field.
  • Passer rating from a clean pocket by rookie quarterbacks this preseason: Zach Wilson (147.3) is No. 1 and the next closest is Trey Lance (106.6).
  • Zach Wilson’s overall 137.7 passer rating is first among all quarterbacks, per PFF.

On top of impressing the analytical crowd, Wilson also passes the eye test.

For the first time this preseason, the 22-year old gunslinger got his first chance to play off-script and he delivered one of the best wow throws of his young career:

He displayed the raw arm talent and deadly accuracy that has drawn comparisons to both Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes in the second week of the preseason.

Wilson finished the day going 9-of-11 for 128 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. He averaged over 11.6 yards per attempt and didn’t turn the ball over.

Time to Pack It In

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To reiterate, this preseason has been a major success for the Jets and Wilson. He has received a ton of important reps and different looks to prepare him for the 2021 regular season.

I’ve seen enough.

Wilson accomplished everything from touchdown passes, displayed his talent, and faced a variety of defensive looks. There’s nothing to gain playing in the preseason finale vs the Eagles.

The only silver lining to potentially playing on Friday would’ve been getting the opportunity to play with some of his fellow rookies for the first time this preseason.

Elijah Moore and Alijah Vera-Tucker have been out of commission for weeks and while there was optimism earlier this week that they could get some run, Saleh shut it down during his presser on Wednesday saying, “I doubt it” in response to either playing in this game.

The veteran coach is leaning towards playing his starters in this contest, but no longer than a half.

Not only does Wilson have nothing to prove, but also considering all the recent injuries from the Jets, why would you even risk it? Saleh labeled most of them “freak” situations at his presser, but why even chance it ahead of the season in a meaningless preseason game.

Also, it appears that the former BYU stud, if he plays, won’t be operating with his full complement of weapons:

  • Mekhi Becton suffered a concussion during joint practice vs the Philadelphia Eagles and won’t play, but appears like he’ll be ready for Week 1.
  • The aforementioned rookies Moore and AVT won’t be suiting up.

If you weigh the pros and cons that could happen in this game, it just doesn’t make sense. Would it be nice if Wilson continued his momentum from the Packers game and ended on a positive note? Sure, but at what potential cost?

It’s time to pack it in and put everyone in bubble wrap ahead of the season opener vs the Carolina Panthers.

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