Current New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett both insisted last week that struggling quarterback Zach Wilson isn’t all that’s wrong with the team’s offense.
Former Jets head coach Rex Ryan echoed such takes following New York’s 16-12 loss at the Las Vegas Raiders that dropped the Jets to 4-5 on the season.
“If you guys think that Zach Wilson is the main problem with this football team, come on, you haven’t been watching. It ain’t Zach Wilson,” Ryan explained during a Monday appearance on the ESPN New York “DiPietro and Rothenberg” program, per Manuel Gómez of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. “I get it, the quarterbacks get more the credit when you win and it comes down on the quarterbacks when it doesn’t go well. But come on, guys. That’s not even close.”
Wilson took over for the injured Aaron Rodgers early into the regular-season opener and is, statistically speaking, one of the worst starters at the position this fall.
According to ESPN stats, Wilson began Monday ranked 30th in the NFL among qualified players with a 34.2 adjusted QBR and a 74.6 passer rating on the campaign. Meanwhile, the Jets ended the weekend ranked 29th with an average of 283.1 offensive yards per game and 30th with an average of 16.0 points per contest.
Wilson completed 23-of-39 passes for 263 yards with no touchdowns and a late interception on a pass he never should’ve thrown against the Raiders. He also rushed for 54 yards on Sunday night, and he had one offensive touchdown eliminated due to a brutal penalty near the goal line.
Ryan left no doubt on Monday that he believes neither backup Tim Boyle nor practice squad option Trevor Siemian is an upgrade over Wilson.
“Go ahead put some of these slappies in there and see what happens to your football team,” Ryan said about Saleh possibly benching Wilson for this coming Sunday’s game at the 5-4 Buffalo Bills. “No way. I’d rather sit back and see if this kid develops.”
Jets players were already publicly frustrated over the offense’s lack of production ahead of this past weekend, and the idea of Rodgers potentially playing again this season after he suffered a torn Achilles in Week 1 becomes more unrealistic with each loss. To save what felt like a promising year when the Jets were 4-3 only a couple of weeks ago, Saleh may need to give either Boyle or Siemian an opportunity to sink or swim against Buffalo.