Jets swap Zach Wilson for Chris Streveler as playoff hopes are just about down the drain in 19-3 loss4 min read
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By: Billy Riccette
The members of Saturday Night Live during the show’s first three seasons were referred to as the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players.” On Thursday at MetLife Stadium, only about nine miles from 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where SNL is filmed, New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson proved he too is not ready for prime time.
Wilson withered under the bright lights of a national spotlight on Amazon Prime and was benched in the second half in favor of Chris Streveler as the Jets fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars 19-3. The loss makes it all but official that the Jets will not be going to the playoffs after starting the season 5-2 and will extend the league’s longest postseason drought, which will reach 12 seasons.
It may not have been Wilson’s worst performance, number-wise, but being that it was a primetime game in December with playoff implications, it makes the performance that much worse. Wilson went 9/18 for 92 yards and an interception before head coach Robert Saleh finally made the swap to Streveler in the third quarter, perhaps a little too late, though. Wilson’s QB rating was 41.9. Even simple throws Wilson is missing.
Before the quarterback switch, there was nothing to talk about with the Jets’ offense, especially on the ground. New York had all of four rushing yards at halftime.
Head coach Robert Saleh said after the game he wanted to get the run game going and that’s what led to the swap at quarterback and not necessarily a benching of Wilson.
Robert Saleh on decision to bench Zach Wilson: “We were trying to get the run game going .”
He does not say it was related to Zach Wilson’s performance.
Said he then provided a spark so they stuck with him. #Jets
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) December 23, 2022
After Streveler came in, the Jets did get the run game going — “Snowballed, in a good way,” as Saleh put it — and at least made it to 66 rushing yards as a team. 54 of those yards came from Streveler, himself. The actual running backs, on the other hand, totaled just 11 yards, including -2 yards from Zonovan Knight. That is not a typo. That is a negative sign in front of the two.
Streveler went 10/15 for 90 yards but could have had a big touchdown pass but an off-target throw led to just a 30-yard completion to tight end C.J. Uzomah instead of a long touchdown.
The offense as a whole was just all sorts of messy, between Wilson, the offensive line and some drops from receivers, namely Corey Davis. The Jets were out-gained by the Jaguars 365-227, including 147-66 on the ground. Jacksonville also had almost double the number of first downs as New York, 19-10. It also didn’t help that the Jets went 2/13 on third down. The Jaguars were 7/16.
Another turning point of this game was on defense for the Jets, when they allowed a 96-yard, 16-play drive in the second quarter that took 8:15 off the clock. The drive ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Trevor Lawrence. That seemed to suck all the life out of the Jets.
New York scored a field goal on their first drive and then nothing after. Five punts, an interception at the end of the half, a fumble and two turnovers on downs. And with this being such an important game for the Jets, that’s your story of the 2022 New York Jets, who have now lost four straight and six of their last eight. A team that was once 5-2 has gone 2-6 since.
On the one hand, it’s nice for the Jets to have been playing meaningful games in December, On the other hand, the offseason will have plenty of moments where the Jets will be wondering “what if.”
The Jets close the home portion of their schedule with a whimper. They finish up the season with trips to Seattle and Miami and maybe salvage a winning season. The Jets will have to figure out their quarterback situation for those two games, but it’s probably safe to say that, like Pete Davidson and Cecily Strong to name a few, Zach Wilson will not be returning to the show.
Originally posted on Jets Wire