Zach Wilson Benched Once Again, Jets Future In Doubt

Has Wilson played his final snap as a Jet?


Dec 22, 2022

You can say a lot of things about the New York Jets, but you can’t say they don’t know how to keep things interesting.

After making his return to the starting lineup in Week 15, Zach Wilson kicked off Week 16 with some drama as he was benched — once again — by head coach Robert Saleh. So, who came in to replace him? Was it Mike White? No, he’s still injured. What about Joe Flacco? Nope.

Wilson was benched in favor of former Canadian Football League quarterback Chris Streveler.

Yes, it has gotten that bad for Gang Green.

After completing just half of his 18 attempts for 98 yards and an interception — and getting booed off the field at halftime — Wilson was pulled for Streveler with the Jets trailing the Jacksonville Jaguars, 16-3. New York eventually fell, 19-3, extending its losing streak to four games after starting the season 7-4.

Wilson clearly wasn’t getting the job done, but according to Saleh, the benching was more about the running game than Wilson’s performance.

“We were trying to change it up to get the run game going,” Saleh said, per Amazon’s broadcast. “Obviously I know Zach was struggling, but Streveler came in and ran a couple of plays to spark the offense. It snowballed in a good way for Strev.”

We know the Jets’ standards are low, but are we supposed to believe zero points in three drives is a good thing? Streveler made some solid plays, but the decision to stick with him after the first drive can’t have been solely on his shoulders.

Then again, Saleh still believes Wilson will be a good quarterback. Wilson himself responded to the benching more positively than he did his last.

“You have to look at it from a team perspective, right?” Wilson said postgame, per team-provided video. “We’re not doing anything offensively. And I’m trying to figure it out. I’m trying to get the guys going, I’m trying to get myself in a little bit of a rhythm.

“We had nothing there… (Streveler is) obviously one of those guys who’s going to lay it all out there for his guys. You can see that was the most we moved the ball all day.”

Owning up to his lack of production is a good start for Wilson, but it may be too late for the former No. 2 overall pick to earn his job back.

Thumbnail photo via Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports Images
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