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Did Zach Wilson Save His NFL Career?

The Jets played their first Sunday Night Football game in 12 years last week versus the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. NFL fans were robbed of another chance to see Aaron Rodgers faceoff against Patrick Mahomes due to an Achilles injury that ended Rodgers’ season in Week One.

Severely struggling on offense the last two weeks with Zach Wilson and Co., New York headed into this primetime matchup as the clear underdogs.

To everyone’s surprise, Wilson showed up in a do-or-die moment for his career. Minus a Jets win, this was what we’ve been dying to see from him since he was drafted.

Now the biggest question remains…

Is This The Real Zach Wilson?

Wilson played the best game of his career on Sunday night, completing 28 out of 39 of his passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns, while also posting a career-high passer rating of 105.2. Zach did not throw an interception but he did have a costly fumble at midfield halfway through the fourth quarter while the Jets were trailing by three.

The third-year player has been dealing with some criticism as of late, and rightfully so. Former Jets Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Namath said this about Zach after New York’s Week Three loss against the Patriots.

There was also a report that surfaced this past Sunday morning from The Athletic’s Dianna Russini which basically stated that if nothing changes offensively, Wilson’s time as the starter could come to an end.

Zach Wilson’s performance on Sunday night was impressive, not only in terms of his play but also how timely it was for him to show up in such a pivotal game regarding his future. Wilson was ultimately benched last season and this game was likely his last shot to prove something before potentially losing the starting job once again.

Nathaniel Hackett also deserves some credit for finally opening up the playbook and allowing Zach to play toward his strengths. It was apparent that before last week the Jets were running a very conservative gameplan in an effort to prevent Wilson from making too many mistakes.

Wilson has been the type of quarterback that, at times, would make the hard throws look easy and the easy throws look hard. This has a lot to do with confidence, and before last week, the Jets gave Zach no reason to play with confidence. He seemed to be questioning every throw and looked scared to even attempt a pass greater than 5-10 yards. A team in today’s NFL won’t win many football games with those weights tied around their ankles.

As a fan who completely wrote Zach off, I was happy to see him have this moment for himself in a very tough time. However, that’s all it is, a moment. It’s important to keep in mind that this is just one game and that there is much more football to be played by the former second-overall pick before we declare that he is no longer a complete bust. There are reasons to believe that this performance could be more of a standard for Zach, but until he shows it consistently, we have no choice but to continue to be cautious with a player who really has done next to nothing so far in his career.

Up next for the Jets' offense is a favorable matchup against a Broncos' defense that allowed 70 points to the Miami Dolphins two weeks ago. Hopefully, Hackett and Wilson can take advantage and build off of this performance in an effort to keep the Jets playing free and confident.

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