The New York Jets faced another setback in their quarterback situation during the rematch against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Zach Wilson, who had already stepped in for the injured Aaron Rodgers in Week 1, was benched with 2:17 remaining in the third quarter due to his ineffective performance in the Jets’ 32-6 loss at Highmark Stadium. This loss marked the team’s third consecutive defeat, highlighting a stark contrast from the early season optimism.
Coach Robert Saleh, typically decisive about his quarterback choices, surprisingly remained noncommittal on Wilson’s status for the upcoming game against the Miami Dolphins on Friday. Saleh mentioned that he would review the game tape before making a decision on Monday. The potential replacement options include journeyman Tim Boyle, who took over for Wilson in the game or promoting veteran Trevor Siemian from the practice squad.
The Jets, who started the season with a promising 4-6 record, have now transitioned from dealing with a ruptured tendon, referring to Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles injury, to grappling with a broken offense. Saleh explained that he benched Wilson primarily due to the lopsided score, hoping for a spark from Boyle. However, Wilson’s struggles have been persistent, evident in his completion of only 7 of 15 passes for 81 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
Saleh emphasized that the offensive struggles were not solely on Wilson, citing missed protections, dropped balls, and missed routes from the entire team. The fate of the No. 2 quarterback, usually a minor concern, takes on added significance for the Jets, given their long-term plan for Wilson to succeed Rodgers in the coming years. Another demotion for Wilson could have significant implications for his future with the team.
Wilson, acknowledging his frustration with the benching, took responsibility for the team’s offensive woes, recognizing the need for change when consecutive games result in offensive stagnation. The quarterback situation becomes even more critical considering the organization’s investment in Wilson as the future leader of the team.
The short week leading up to the game against the Dolphins adds another layer of complexity to Saleh’s decision, as any potential replacement wouldn’t have the usual practice reps. The Jets’ overall performance against the Bills was subpar, with three turnovers, six sacks allowed, and a meager 155 total yards, making it a challenging game for all aspects of the team.
In addition to the quarterback dilemma, the Jets experienced issues on both sides of the ball. The defense, typically solid, had one of its worst games of the season, allowing Josh Allen to throw for 275 yards and three touchdowns. The offense, plagued by multiple challenges, struggled in critical areas such as third downs and the red zone.
As the Jets confront this challenging period, the immediate focus is on resolving the quarterback situation and addressing the broader issues that have led to the team’s recent struggles on the field.