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Zach Wilson’s latest struggles put larger spotlight on Jets QB predicament

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Jets quarterback Zach Wilson watches from the sidelines after he lost the starting quarterback job.
Jets quarterback Zach Wilson watches from the sidelines after he lost the starting quarterback job.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Jets coach Robert Saleh wasn’t prepared to even start thinking about who his starting quarterback would be next weekend in Seattle, which means the bigger picture of where the organization goes from here with that position after this season isn’t even on his mind. 

Still, after another ugly performance from the former first-round pick, there is plenty of soul-searching that needs to be done to figure out what they need to do with Zach Wilson. It has become clear this season that the Jets’ offense has operated better with Mike White or Joe Flacco, or in the case of Thursday night, Chris Streveler on the field. 

“Those are things we have to look at,” Saleh said after the loss. “To stand up here and give you that answer, I don’t have that answer. There’s a lot of stuff that we have to talk about. I don’t have that answer right now.”

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Streveler finished out the game after coming in with 3:31 left in the third quarter after Wilson was constantly booed by Jets fans at MetLife Stadium who brave the elements hoping to see a win. Instead, what they watched was Wilson throw for just 92 yards and an interception. 

When Streveler took the field, a noticeable buzz permeated the stadium and on the field, the Jets showed their first signs of offensive life since the first quarter. Streveler took the Jets 73 yards on their best drive of the night, but still came up empty after turning the ball over on downs. 

After the game, Streveler was asked if he had spoken to Wilson or said anything to him on the sideline. He reiterated the support he and the other QBs on the team had for the struggling Wilson. 

“I mean I always tell Zach, we have a great relationship, and our quarterback room is very tight-knit,” Streveler said. “And I just always told him, ‘I got your back, bro.’ We all have each other’s back in that room and we all support each other no matter what the situation is. We’re always going to support each other, we’re always going to have each other’s back, regardless of what’s going on outside of that room.”

Saleh contended that Thursday’s decision to switch to Streveler wasn’t a benching, but rather a move to spark the Jets’ running game, which was nearly nonexistent. The New York coach said that he had never considered pulling Wilson at halftime, even though both Wilson and Flacco were spotted warming up after the break. 

For more New York Jets news, turn to AMNY.com

This season has been far from what Wilson had expected and the Jets needed from the second-year quarterback and with a team that looked as though the playoffs were in sight, the QB position has been one of the biggest hindrances of that goal. There is already plenty of speculation that the Jets will look to bring in another quarterback to either compete for replace Wilson in the offseason. 

And Thursday’s game didn’t help. 

“That’s when I’ve got to look myself in the mirror,” Wilson said. “I’ve got to go back and I’ve got to go back and watch this tape. You’ve got to be hard. You’ve got to be hard on yourself. You just say, ‘Why are we not moving the ball?’ And that starts with me. What am I doing that I have to help this team to be in a better position to move the ball? Whatever it is, I’ve got to figure it out.”

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