Troy Aikman didn’t hold back his criticism of Zach Wilson during Monday’s game, where he was providing commentary alongside Joe Buck for ESPN. In the closing minutes of the Jets’ disappointing 27-6 home loss to the Chargers, Aikman took a jab at the Jets’ young quarterback.
As transcribed by Larry Brown Sports, Aikman humorously remarked, “This thing ain’t over yet,” following a 33-yard pass completion to tight end Tyler Conklin, which gave the Jets a slim chance at a late, inconsequential touchdown with less than two minutes remaining. He quipped, “This is when Zach comes alive. Look out.”
However, Aikman didn’t stop there. In the final minutes of the game, he continued to deliver pointed comments and harsh assessments, understandable given the lackluster performance of the Jets’ offense. As is often the case, the quarterback tends to bear the brunt of the blame.
Despite raising hopes with an upset win over the Eagles, Wilson’s performance underscored why the Jets are far from being genuine contenders with him as their leader. After narrowly defeating the struggling Giants the previous week through a miraculous play, Wilson struggled against a Chargers team notorious for faltering in crucial situations. He was sacked eight times and lost two fumbles. While he threw for 263 yards, a significant portion of that came in the closing moments when the game was already out of reach.
Aikman didn’t spare criticism for the entire Jets’ offensive operation, particularly their ineffectiveness. He said, “If you can’t even get lined up without getting a penalty, then you’ve got no chance. You’ll never have a chance.” He emphasized the need for improvement across the board, from Zach Wilson to the offensive line and the coaching staff. He noted that the offensive struggles were preventing the talented defense from achieving its full potential.
Aikman didn’t mince words when summing up the 4-4 Jets’ performance, stating, “For the Jets, I don’t know if they’re a good football team. It’s hard to look at them tonight and say that they’re good.” He acknowledged the strength of their defense but ultimately labeled them as a “bad team with a great defense.” Aikman didn’t see anything in that game that would suggest they were a playoff-caliber team, and he expressed doubts about their postseason prospects.