In my last article, I asked the Jets to show us instead of just coach speak. They did some showing. With a patchwork offensive line that they put together with tape, gum and whatever adhesive that was readily available, the Jets started their sophomore quarterback who was returning from a knee injury. The later sentence without context would sound unhinged if you add the recent history of this organization. Add to that the recent issues with the backend of this defense and the lack of pass rush this is full blown lunacy. The only respite they had was they were facing a Steelers team that was second to last in the league on offense and a defense who was missing the super star pass rusher. Zach Wilson’s return was also clouded by the fact that he had minimal in game reps with some of the Jets newest acquisitions.
In the face of all this adversity, he looked good at first but was being let down by some of his pass catchers and also showed some rust. the team did enough to lead the game late into the second quarter only to give up points via penalty by Carl Lawson roughing the passer. The insertion of Kenny Pickett in the third boosted the Steelers and their fans and energized the team with the defense playing with more urgency. But Zack weathered the storms around him. He showed poise leading three drives of 91 yards, 68 yards and 55 yards all ending in scores the last in which he went 5 for 5 for 57 yards. those drives consisted of third and fourth downs where he looked so calm and composed and his pass catchers rewarded him. Breece Hall when interviewed after the game said Zach in the huddle before he last drive told his teammates lets go score a f’ing touchdown. that kind of calm and resolve is what franchise quarterbacks are made of. He has a lot to work on. A larger quantity of snaps will spell this out much clearer of course but Jets fans will accept this for now.
The defense had several turnovers, most coming from the maligned Safety position which is good news. The pass rush showed flashes but going forward they need more of a fire from the guys upfront and more of the coverage the backend displayed today. Zach will get more acclimated with his new guys and forge more of a connection with the guys he had from last year but all will be for naught if the Jets don’t fix that offensive line. AVT had a good game at tackle but he cant be kept there, hopefully Brown returns soon and guys could go back to where they belong. The play calling and coaching seem to be lifted by Zach Wilson’s presence but there is more to be done on that front. Before the season began the idea of facing the vaunted AFC North had most fans shaking in their boots but given that the Jets pulled through that gauntlet with a .500 record is better news than most thought they’d have right now. There are many wrinkles to iron out and i hope this means more success going forward.