By Diana Russini, Zach Rosenblatt and Larry Holder
The New York Jets (4-6) are benching quarterback Zach Wilson and Tim Boyle will start moving forward, coach Robert Saleh said Monday. Here’s what you need to know:
Jets bench Wilson again
It’s the third time the Jets have beaten Wilson — and it almost certainly will be the last.
The plan is not to play Wilson this year. The Jets hoped he would spend the year learning from Aaron Rodgers. Plans changed when Rodgers tore his Achilles in Week 1 and the Jets’ decision not to sign another veteran quarterback in light of that injury proved costly.
While the Jets were able to steal some surprise wins against the Bills in Week 1 and the Eagles in Week 6, Wilson seemed to get worse each week – culminating in a terrible performance against the Bills. Wilson ranks 37th among 38 qualified quarterbacks (with at least 100 dropbacks) — just ahead of the New York Giants’ Tommy DeVito — in EPA per dropback by TrueMedia.
Now the Jets will demote him to the third-string quarterback behind Boyle and coach the squad quarterback Siemian, which is what they did last year with Mike White and Joe Flacco. — Zach Rosenblatt, Jets staff writer
Wilson is the worst
It’s probably no surprise to anyone, but Wilson has actually been the worst quarterback, statistically speaking, over the past three years.
Here’s how he’s stacked up in advanced metrics since coming into the league and starting in 2021 (via TrueMedia):
- Expected Points Added per Dropback: -0.19 (35th out of 36 qualified QBs)
- Total QB EPA: -229.2 (36th)
- Pass Ratio: 71.9 (36th)
- Completion percentage: 56.6 (36th)
- Third-down conversion percentage: 26.8 (36th)
His 2023 rates don’t paint a pretty picture:
- EPA per dropback: -0.24 (32nd out of 32 qualified QBs)
- Total QB EPA: -103.9 (32nd)
- Pass Ratio: 73.8 (30th)
- Completion percentage: 59.2 (32nd)
- Third-down conversion percentage: 24.5 (32nd)
We all know the Jets are hoping not to start Wilson again by trading for Rodgers this offseason. Now, maybe they never will again. — Larry Holder, veteran NFL writer
What to expect from Boyle
Boyle doesn’t have a great statistical record (three touchdowns, six interceptions as an NFL starter) but his best skills are his quickness and decisiveness, key traits for a quarterback playing behind the Jets’ makeshift offensive line. Next week, the Jets are expected to start their eighth different offensive line in 11 games.
According to TrueMedia, Boyle averaged 2.38 seconds against the Bills, which would be one of the fastest averages of any quarterback in the NFL for the season.
“The main thing that stands out is his confidence in the huddle,” Tyler Conklin said Monday. “He commands the huddle very well. He’s decisive in getting the ball out of his hands. Those two things stuck.” — Rosenblatt
Wilson was 7-of-15 passing for 81 yards with a touchdown and an interception during his time on the bench Sunday. He had a pass percentage of 57.9.
Boyle has spent time with the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears during his career and has completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 607 yards, three touchdowns and nine interceptions.
What are they saying?
Saleh – When asked about Wilson’s future with the Jets, he said, “We’ll deal with it during the season, guys. Now it’s really about Miami.
In retrospect, the Jets are a more proven number than Wilson. When asked if he should have gotten 2 quarterbacks, Saleh said “No.”
“We think Zach is incredibly talented, and I felt he would have an opportunity to sit behind Aaron and learn,” Saleh said. “Sympathetically or sympathetically, when you look at Zach, he’s never had the chance to see somebody play that position. … This is his chance with Aaron and he’s back in the starting lineup in four games. He never sat back and absorbed it and didn’t get that redshirt year you wish he had.
Regarding New York’s pre-draft process that led to their selection of Wilson, he said he “got (his) thoughts” and shared them with Jets general manager Joe Douglas, but declined to elaborate on those thoughts.
(Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)