Zach Wilson Heads To Bench Again, Rejects Scapegoat Label
For the second time in his short NFL career, New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has been benched. The Jets continue to struggle on offense as their postseason hopes slip away, but Wilson is standing by his team as New York explores other options.
“It’s a lot different,” Wilson said, comparing this season to his last. “Obviously, I wasn’t doing anything well last year. It was well-deserved. I felt like it was deserved in the locker room. But where I’m at right now, it’s like we’re truly struggling as an offense. It’s hard to point the finger at anybody. I hope we can figure things out and I’ll take that if that’s the issue.”
It’s true that Wilson has, at times, demonstrated improvement in 2023. He is the only quarterback to lead a team to victory over Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles and outplayed Patrick Mahomes on Sunday Night Football. But losses to the likes of the Patriots and Raiders stand out and his inefficiency was largely to blame for those defeats.
“No matter what, I just want this team to do well,” Wilson went on to say. “But it is different. I know I’m a different player. I know I’ve come a long way. I understand the game more, I feel confident out there playing. For whatever reason, can’t get it done. I understand that comes with the position. It’s unfortunate, but I’m going to keep working.”
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With Wilson on the bench, the Jets will turn to backup quarterback Tim Boyle for their Week 12 matchup with the Miami Dolphins. Boyle has struggled in brief NFL stints with the Packers, Lions and Bears. In college, he played in 37 games for UConn and Eastern Kentucky, throwing 12 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. Behind him, journeyman Trevor Siemian has been elevated from the practice squad and could step in as needed.
While fans and analysts alike follow Aaron Rodgers’ accelerated recovery timeline, the Jets are regressing to a point where a miraculous return for their star quarterback may not make a difference. The extent of Wilson’s impact on the offense will be revealed when Boyle steps under center Friday.
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