Zach Wilson benched as Jets doubts continue to rise

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Sarah Stier/Getty Images

After another disappointing outing for the second-year quarterback Zach Wilson to suffer a blowing defeat to the New York Jets playoff hopes after a solid start to the season, amid the rainfall at MetLife Stadium, Wilson was benched in the fourth quarter practice squad quarterback Chris Streveler.

“Yeah, it is, but you don’t blame them,” Wilson said of the booing fans. “We have a very passionate fanbase, and they’re here to watch us score touchdowns, and we’re not scoring touchdowns, we’re not getting first downs, we’re not moving the ball, we obviously can’t throw the ball, so of course, they’re going to be frustrated.”

Zach Wilson struggled in a must-win game against a Jacksonville Jaguars team looking to add another victory to their win streak. Before being benched, Wilson amassed only 92 yards while completing 50% of his passes. Along with a careless interception to finish with a 5.2 quarterback rating.

“Right now, the feeling is I just gotta put my head down and just try and get better for these guys,” Wilson said. That was my message to them out there: I’m trying to give them everything I’ve got. I’m trying to lay it out there for you guys, and it’s not good enough, and I gotta put them in a better position.”

Streveler immediately made an impact through the air and on the ground to spark his offense and fanbase. Streveler threw for 90 yards in two drives and rushed for 54 yards.

“We were trying to change up to get the run game going,” coach Robert Saleh said postgame. “I know Zach was struggling. Streveler came in, ran a couple of plays, sparked the offense, and got the explosive play.”

Hours before the game, Streveler was elevated from the practice squad and was expected to be used in package plays similar to Taysom Hill due to his versatility as an athletic quarterback. Unfortunately, The Jaguars defense would extinguish Streveler’s spark as Jacksonville cruised to a 19-3 victory giving the Jets their fourth consecutive loss after having playoff hopes earlier in the season.

Wilson’s second year couldn’t have been worse as he’s been benched numerous times, as other quarterbacks drafted in his class are flourishing. His outlook for this season is bleak as Mike White looks to return from injury and take the starting job in hopes of sneaking the Jets into the playoffs.

“We haven’t seen the last of him,” Saleh said of Wilson.

Looking towards next season, Zach Wilson will have an uphill battle as the free agent quarterback market will be enticing for New York as the Jets are taking the following steps to build a Super Bowl-contending team with little patience left for Wilson.

In his two seasons, Wilson has totaled 15 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

Unless New York commits another year to Wilson, he’ll have to look elsewhere for a potential starting job.

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