Zach Wilson’s leash for the Jets is looking shorter than ever after Sunday’s heartbreaking 10-3 loss to the Patriots, which featured a last-second punt-return touchdown from New England to cap it off. It was the last of 17 punts over the course of the game, 10 of which came from the Jets.
After the game, Wilson drew fire for his seeming lack of accountability, curtly replying “no, no” to a reporter when asked if he thought the offense let the defense down. Wilson finished the game 9 of 22 for 77 yards, no touchdowns, and no picks (though he did have an interception go right through the arms of Devin McCourty).
Joe Flacco, who started the first three weeks of the season after Wilson was out due to injury, was inactive Sunday. But some wondered where Mike White was and why Saleh didn’t turn to him.
It’s starting to look like that’s a possibility, with Saleh telling reporters Monday: “We’re keeping everything on the table” with regards to quarterback and declining to commit to Wilson for the Week 12 game against the Bears in New York.
“Everything needs to be evaluated. When you put up 100 yards of offense, I don’t care how good New England is, and they are good, it’s unacceptable. That’s not NFL football. Everything is being talked about”
– Robert Saleh on going from committal to non-committal on Zach Wilson pic.twitter.com/tzeM8SYWrH
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) November 21, 2022
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Wilson has completed 55.6 percent of his passes this season, the exact same mark as last year, and he has four touchdowns to five interceptions. Flacco still leads the team in touchdowns with five after his three weeks starting.
Perhaps even more frustrating for the Jets (and their fans) is it’s otherwise been an enjoyable season for them. They’re 6-4, right in the thick of the AFC East, and they have a top-10 defense in the NFL in both yards allowed and points per game.
Jets QB depth chart
Next up on the depth chart will be a question mark. The Jets pulled a switcheroo with White and Flacco the day before Halloween, bringing White up to the active roster to serve as the backup, and Flacco has been inactive since.
“If Zach ever gets hurt, we are giving Mike White the opportunity to go in there,” Saleh said at the time, per The New York Post.
Will that change if the Jets simply move Wilson to the bench? It’s difficult to say. Flacco does have experience that White doesn’t, and White’s claim to fame is his monster 400-yard game against the Bengals last season, his one win as a starter.
NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where Jets stand entering Week 12
With the Jets very much in the thick of things in the AFC East, the decision undoubtedly gets a lot more delicate. The Jets went 1-2 under Flacco at the beginning of the season, and that one win was really the only inspiring game he played.
If Wilson does get benched, of course, it will inevitably raise questions about this future with the team. The Jets took the 23-year-old second overall in the 2021 draft, so there’s a lot invested in him. But with the team looking more competitive than it initially thought, eventually some tough decisions are going to have to made. Saleh seems ready to make them soon, despite the large-scale ramifications such a move will have on the organization.