Any hope New York Jets fans had about Zach Wilson having potentially turned a corner went away in spectacular fashion during Sunday's 22-17 loss to the New England Patriots.
Wilson finished 20-of-41 for 355 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Two of those picks came on back-to-back possessions in the second half and were among the worst plays any quarterback has made all season.
Leaving out the fourth-quarter comeback against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4, Wilson's season stat line is almost impossibly bad.
Connor Hughes @Connor_J_Hughes
Zach Wilson, in every quarter aside from that fourth against the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Steelers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Steelers</a>, this season<br><br>61 of 117 (52%) for 770 yards, TD, 5 INT, QB rating of 58. <br><br>That's not progress from a second-year quarterback. It's just not good enough. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jets?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jets</a>
The first came on a bootleg when Wilson held on to the ball long enough to let a defender get in his face and caused him to throw in the direction of a receiver who was triple-covered, though it's not clear he was actually aiming at the wideout based on where Devin McCourty caught the pass.
🚨 <a href="https://twitter.com/McCourtyTwins?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@McCourtyTwins</a> INT 🚨 Devin now has 32 interceptions, tied for the MOST among active players. <br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NEvsNYJ?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NEvsNYJ</a> on CBS<br>📱: Stream on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/FzCADVP5Ro">https://t.co/FzCADVP5Ro</a> <a href="https://t.co/nhzNTnfmpt">pic.twitter.com/nhzNTnfmpt</a>
The next interception may have been worse because it's not even clear what Wilson was trying to do.
The Jets clearly have a defense capable of competing with anyone. The Patriots offense, which has been a mess all season, had nothing going in this game.
Mac Jones didn't play much better than Wilson. He finished with 194 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception on 35 attempts. The Patriots did rack up 127 yards on the ground, but it came on 34 carries for an average of 3.7 yards per attempt.
New York's last five opponents have failed to score more than 22 points. Adding to the frustration for Jets fans is Wilson actually played well to start this game. He was 7-of-12 for 132 yards and a touchdown pass to Tyler Conklin after the first three drives early in the second quarter.
That actually led to some optimism from NFL Twitter about Wilson, though some of it was couched in concern that doom could come at any moment.
The Jet Press @TheJetPress
Zach Wilson is proving right now that he can be a good NFL QB. He’s not incapable.<br><br>It’s just about consistency and confidence.<br><br>Right now, Zach is confident and the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jets?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jets</a> offense looks great as a result.
It's understandable the Jets would want to give Wilson every opportunity to figure things out because they used the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft on him.
At this point, 18 games into his career, Wilson has done nothing to suggest he can even be a viable starter in the NFL. He has only thrown a touchdown in two of his five starts this season. His interception rate of 3.5 percent (five on 142 pass attempts) is an increase from his rookie season (2.9 percent).
Head coach Robert Saleh has to figure out an answer at quarterback for the rest of this season, but barring a turnaround over the next two months, it's safe to say Wilson shouldn't be the starter in 2023.