This is not how anyone inside the New York Jets’ organization expected the 2023 NFL season to play out. Entering Week 11, sitting at just 4-5, against the Buffalo Bills, with Zach Wilson at QB?
In a perfect world, Aaron Rodgers would be under center, and the Jets would be competing for a top seed in the AFC playoff race. But that’s nowhere near the case. Wilson has performed like one of the NFL’s worst QBs, while coach Robert Saleh’s defense has held up its end of the bargain, with a top-10 unit that was allowing just 19.1 points per game entering NFL games today.
While Saleh has stood by Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft from the moment Rodgers tore his Achilles just four snaps into the season, his patience ran out Sunday in Buffalo.
With the Jets trailing 29-6 and more than two minutes to play in the third quarter, the Jets benched Wilson for sixth-year veteran backup Tim Boyle.
Boyle, 29, has made just three starts in his NFL career, all coming with the Detroit Lions in 2021, and went 0-3 as the Lions ended up with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 draft. Yet the Jets have higher hopes for the former undrafted player out of Eastern Kentucky.
Before Boyle entered the game, Wilson had completed just 7-of-15 passes for 81 yards, with one touchdown and an interception. He also took five sacks, losing 30 yards, and failed to convert all seven third-down attempts.
It was yet another ugly performance in a string of bad efforts from the 24-year-old QB. But even more, this move might have been made out of frustration, as the Jets’ slim postseason hopes continue to diminish with every loss.
If Rodgers is able to return this season, the Jets will need a respectable record to give them a chance of making the playoffs, but at 4-6, there’s no need for the 39-year-old, four-time MVP to rush back, especially if he risks further injury.