EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — New York Jets quarterback Zack Wilson suffered one of the most humiliating games of his NFL career as he was booed Thursday night at MetLife Stadium and replaced by former practice quarterback Chris Streffler in a 19-game loss. -3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Yes it is [tough]Of the fan boos, Wilson said “I don’t blame them. We have a passionate fanbase, and they’re here to watch us score touchdowns. We don’t score touchdowns, we don’t get first down, we don’t move the ball, and we obviously can’t throw the ball. Of course they’ll get frustrated.”
Wilson completed just nine of 18 passes for 92 yards and an interception that came on a desperation high before halftime. Finished with 5.2 QAR. It was the Jets’ fourth straight loss, but it ended their playoff chances.
Coach Robert Salih said he did not consider including Wilson in the first half even though they only had 66 yards and trailed 13-3, but he pulled him away with 3:31 left in the third quarter. By then, it was 16-3. Raised from the practice squad, Streveler came in just hours before the game. The offense immediately drove its longest distance, even though it yielded no points.
Saleh said he did not sit on Wilson’s seat per se. He said he went to Streveler hoping his running ability would spice up their idle ground game. While that may have been the initial reason for the change, Salih allowed Streiefler to play until the end of the game, keeping Wilson, the 2021 second pick, on the bench.
Wilson was benched five weeks ago in favor of Mike White, a former fifth-round draft pick for the Dallas Cowboys who sparked the offense. On Thursday night, he was replaced by Safar whose claim to fame was winning three straight victories in the preseason.
“We were trying to change to start the running game,” Saleh said. “I know Zach was struggling. Striveller came in, ran a few plays, sparked the offense and got the explosive play. And it doubled down big for Striv. So we wanted to give him a chance to finish the drive. By the time we got that back, we decided we were already here, so let’s go.” with Streif.
The Jets showed signs of life with Streveler, who rushed for 54 yards and completed 10 of 15 passes for 90 yards in his first season.
Wilson remained on the sidelines, ready to get back in the game, but he never got the call. The rain-soaked crowd cheered when Striefeller came on, and fans loved his gritty improvisational style. The pregame plan was to use him with a small group of running plays, but they expanded his repertoire as the fourth quarter went on.
The Jets activated three first-time quarterbacks, with Streveler and Joe Flacco backing up Wilson. Flaco saw no action.
Wilson said he had no problem changing up the third quarter.
“We had nothing there,” he said of the crime. “You can’t blame [Saleh] In this case. Chris lay there, obviously great with his legs and arms, and was able to give us a little spark there. You could see that was the most we moved the ball all day, so you can’t blame him.”
It was the first time Wilson had been substituted in the game in a no-hit game. On November 23, he was benched for the first time in his life after a 77-yard pass against the New England Patriots.
He looked confused, admitting his confidence was shaken and saying he wasn’t good enough for his teammates.
He said, “Man, I don’t know.” “I just felt like I had no rhythm there. [I was] Just trying to find some confidence on the field, just finding something to get us going – a little spark. I couldn’t get anything in there, man.
“Yeah, it’s tough and I’m working my way through it,” Wilson added. “But I have to be optimistic here. I believe in myself, regardless of whether anyone else does.”
“You would be remiss if you don’t try to acknowledge the fact that there is a bit of confidence out there because when people are confident they can conquer the world, we have to help him and it starts with training,” Saleh said.
Saleh declined to speculate about the beginning of the seventeenth week. Chances are, they’ll go back to White (broken ribs), but he wasn’t allowed to contact him. If he is not acquitted, the Jets will have a difficult decision to make.
“We haven’t seen the end of it,” Saleh said of Wilson.
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