Since returning from injury, New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson has shown notable strides in his game.
Some of the adjustments have been clear improvements — fewer turnovers, better pocket presence, a willingness to scramble when the space is there. Other changes could be seen as measured safeguards — fewer deep ball attempts and not as many high-risk throws — which has led to a less-explosive Wilson in the passing game.
The emphasis from the coaching staff has been clear: Play within the Mike LaFleur offense. The theory is that the playmaking ability will return once the rookie has mastered the system but sometimes you can’t contain talent.
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Wilson Wins Third Rookie of the Week Belt
On December 30, New York Jets Twitter officially announced that the number two overall pick had won his third Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week award for his performance in Week 16.
The BYU product also broke the record for most franchise rushing yards in a game from a quarterback, as well as the longest QB run in Jets history. Wilson finished with 193 total yards (14 of 22 passing), two touchdowns and zero turnovers. His outing yielded a QB rating of 89.6.
Wilson’s third rookie of the week belt puts him in rare company. Only two 2021 rookies have accomplished this feat: WR Ja’Marr Chase (4) and LB Micah Parsons (3).
Not only that, the Jets signal-caller is the only rookie quarterback to claim this honor in year one. Gang Green has also won five belts — Elijah Moore and Brandin Echols each have one — which is more than any other NFL franchise.
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Jets Twitter Erupts for Their QB1
For those that will undoubtedly delegitimize this award as a fan vote, I’d like to clarify that rookies must still be nominated by the NFL each week in order to win. Jets Twitter was certainly happy about the honor, as it exploded with plenty of creative memes and fun reactions to belt No. 3.
Perhaps the biggest push in the Week 16 fan vote was led by NYJ Matt, who celebrated the victory with a “Miracle” tribute.
His partner in crime, NYJ Mike then posted this viral parody of an epic “Game of Thrones” scene, comparing Wilson to G.O.T. character Jon Snow.
Wilson haters, you might want to watch until the end. There’s still a place for you besides “the King of New York.” Speaking of this our great state, Barstool New York got involved too, with the classic DJ Khaled “Another one” GIF.
A fan named Joe Randazzo tweeted out a photo of wrestler Kurt Angle strapped with three title belts with the caption: “Zach Wilson taking home another rookie of the week.”
Another fan, Justin Gray, added tears of joy with a GIF of actor Shia LaBeouf.
Jets X-Factor’s Michael Nania may have stolen the day, however, with a clever Thanos Marvel meme of Wilson placing his third “infinity belt” in the gauntlet.
Finally, New York Jets Twitter thanked all their loyal voters.