EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson lived with the long ball in his return to the starting lineup, leading to one of the most prolific transition days of his young career, but he regretted his mistakes after the 20-17 loss. to the Detroit Lions on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Wilson said his third-quarter interception that set up Detroit’s field goal was “a bad decision.” Speaking about his general speech, he said: “I gotta be better, man.”
That he took responsibility after the Jets’ third straight loss was a stark contrast to his postgame comments from his previous start on Nov. 20 against the New England Patriots. After throwing for just 77 yards in a 10-3 loss, he refused to take responsibility for a poor offensive showing and was benched a few days later.
So, Wilson has shown progress in that regard. As for his performance on the field, it was uneven.
Replacing the injured Mike White (broken ribs), who was sidelined Friday, Wilson completed 18 of 35 passes for 317 yards and two touchdowns, the second-highest yardage total of his career. He averaged 14.5 yards per completion, the most of any quarterback with 15-plus completions per game since Russell Wilson in 2012, according to ESPN Stats and Information Research.
Zach Wilson completed passes of 50, 40, 33 and 33 yards. At halftime, he looked at the stat sheet and saw “a ton of yards,” he said. eight overs for 185, right. But things went wrong in the third quarter, starting with an interception by cornerback Jerry Jacobs.
“I forced it, I shouldn’t have thrown it,” Wilson said of his interception, a first-down floater intended for wide receiver Elijah Moore. The Lions capitalized on a short field goal for a 13-10 lead.
After that, the second overall draft pick in 2021 began missing open receivers, drawing the ire of a restless home crowd. He missed a wide-open Garrett Wilson over the middle, and the rookie wide receiver responded with a display of frustration down the field. After the game, he and the quarterback hugged on the sideline.
“I thought he handled it really well,” Garrett Wilson said of his teammate’s comeback. “He showed great tenacity, especially late in the game, making some of the throws he made. He gave us a chance to win the game. That’s all you can ask for. He gave us a great chance to win the game. game”.
Zach Wilson’s “reboot” (as the Jets called his bench) for stretches was like a repeat of past performances; He got the ball back with 1 minute, 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter, down by three points, but he went 3-for-7 and had two sacks on the drive. The game ended with a 58-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein.
Coach Robert Saleh then declined to name the starting lineup for Thursday night’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The decision may depend on White’s medical report. he is scheduled for additional rib scans. Because of the short week, they will likely have to go with Wilson again.
“I thought he pitched well,” Saleh said of Wilson, who went 5-3 as a starter. “There are ebbs and flows to the game. There’s always going to be things we can cheat on, but he moved the ball, made explosive plays.”
The Jets, trailing by Brock Wright’s 51-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 with 1:49 to play, had a chance to tie or win it. They had 75 yards for a touchdown with three timeouts, but Saleh made some questionable clock management decisions.
Saleh didn’t call his first timeout until 19 seconds remained, allowing precious seconds to bleed off the clock. He called the second with one second left, leaving one unused timeout.
Then he second guessed himself.
“I can probably look back on it and say we definitely should have used one,” he said. “But at the same time, when you have three timeouts, time is not an issue whether you take advantage of it or not. But, yeah, for me in hindsight, I could have called a timeout to settle the guys down.”
When asked about the use of time, Gareth Wilson said: “We will watch the film tomorrow and say. “Wow, we could do better.”
Zach Wilson declined to weigh in on clock management. He also did not want to comment on his job security.
“I don’t think it’s up to me,” he said. “For me, I think it comes back to how can I watch this film, how can I improve and can I continue to try to put our offense in the best situation to win, and I didn’t do that today.”