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Zach Wilson Called Out by NFL Twitter as Jets Lose to Lions with Mike White Injured

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 18, 2022

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 18: Zach Wilson #2 of the New York Jets reacts before a game al at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Zach Wilson's short NFL career has been a siren song for the New York Jets. It's hard to ignore the tantalizing upside and ability, but behind that facade awaits a rocky shore.

Sunday was the latest wreck. Wilson's struggles contributed to New York's 20-17 loss to the Detroit Lions, although the defense's inability to protect a late lead didn't help.

Still, Wilson and the Jets had 1:49 left on the clock late in the fourth quarter and all three timeouts, only needing to get into field-goal range to force overtime. Instead, he took two sacks on the final drive and could only get the Jets to the Detroit 40-yard line, setting up a 58-yard field-goal attempt for Greg Zuerlein that was missed short.

Detroit Lions @Lions

Romeo got 'em!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DETvsNYJ?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DETvsNYJ</a> | 📺 CBS <a href="https://t.co/KhxQ1P8ND2">pic.twitter.com/KhxQ1P8ND2</a>

NFL @NFL

LIONS WIN AND REMAIN IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT! <a href="https://t.co/5B2SQmqGLY">pic.twitter.com/5B2SQmqGLY</a>

On the day, Wilson finished 18-of-35 for 317 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, taking four sacks.

While there was plenty of blame to go around in the loss, NFL Twitter honed in on the second-year quarterback:

Football Perspective @fbgchase

Zach Wilson now has 671 passes, including sacks, in his career.<br><br>336 completions<br>335 incomplete passes/sacks

The Jet Press @TheJetPress

Here's the Zach Wilson thread:<br><br>Credit for Wilson for getting the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jets?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jets</a> in a position to win. He made a few big boy throws.<br><br>That said his mistakes and inaccuracy was a large part of the reason they lost.<br><br>Jets had open WRs almost every play. Wilson missed half of them. (1/3)

Mike Greenberg @Espngreeny

This is coming apart at the seams for Zach Wilson. He looks rattled, teammates frustrated, fans restless. Season on the line - feels like the defense is gonna have to make a play that changes the game. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jets?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jets</a>

Bill Barnwell @billbarnwell

It took about two plays for "Zach Wilson is playing better as the game goes along!" to be followed by a brutal interception.

Sam Monson @PFF_Sam

Zach Wilson just threw so far behind the WR on the slant it was behind the CB too and he couldn't intercept it.

Michael David Smith @MichaelDavSmith

The Zach Wilson discourse will focus heavily on his terrible interception, but if I were a Jets fan I'd be equally concerned about plays like that 4-yard completion on third-and-13. He's just not a quarterback you can trust to sustain drives.

Matt O'Leary @MattOLearyNY

Clock management was bad. <br><br>Not a consistent enough effort from Zach Wilson<br><br>A bad special teams play<br><br>A blown assignment on 4th and Inches. <br><br>This just sucks <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jets?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jets</a>

The Jets are floundering. Sunday's loss was their fifth in the past seven games, dropping them to 7-7 on the season. Their odds of reaching the postseason are fading, and fast. Contrast that to the Lions (7-7), who have won six of their last seven and suddenly are firmly in the NFC playoff mix.

Some of the Jets' turbulence comes from the all-or-nothing play of Wilson, who can absolutely take your breath away on consecutive plays for completely different reasons. Sunday was the perfect microcosm of his career in that regard:

New York Jets @nyjets

BOOM!<a href="https://twitter.com/ZachWilson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ZachWilson</a> to <a href="https://twitter.com/cj_uzomah?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cj_uzomah</a> for six!!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DETvsNYJ?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DETvsNYJ</a> on CBS <a href="https://t.co/An1VAViD4m">pic.twitter.com/An1VAViD4m</a>

New York Jets @nyjets

.<a href="https://twitter.com/ZachWilson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ZachWilson</a> to <a href="https://twitter.com/jsmoothiiee?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jsmoothiiee</a> for 50!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DETvsNYJ?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DETvsNYJ</a> on CBS <a href="https://t.co/T0vpx56dpQ">pic.twitter.com/T0vpx56dpQ</a>

New York Jets @nyjets

WHAT A PLAY! WE HAVE A SHOT!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DETvsNYJ?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DETvsNYJ</a> on CBS <a href="https://t.co/XksCEMln4n">pic.twitter.com/XksCEMln4n</a>

NFL @NFL

Picked! <a href="https://twitter.com/Lions?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lions</a> are deep into Jets territory following the turnover. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OnePride?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OnePride</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DETvsNYJ?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DETvsNYJ</a> on CBS<br>📱: Stream on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/nW0d7KOLXR">https://t.co/nW0d7KOLXR</a> <a href="https://t.co/bWg1ZQV9UJ">pic.twitter.com/bWg1ZQV9UJ</a>

Josh Norris @JoshNorris

The Zach Wilson experience<br><br>Back to back snaps<br><br>Bailed out by Michael Carter <a href="https://t.co/jZWFKPnCPQ">pic.twitter.com/jZWFKPnCPQ</a>

Henry McKenna @McKennAnalysis

Take a look at how Garrett Wilson reacted to this misfire from Zach Wilson. 🤬🤬🤬🤬 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jets?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jets</a> <a href="https://t.co/9hFv15QhHk">pic.twitter.com/9hFv15QhHk</a>

Wilson undoubtedly has more talent than Mike White, who missed Sunday's game with fractured ribs. But there was a reason the Jets turned to White as the starter and moved Wilson to the third-stringer or inactive role for the past three games.

The Jets seemed to have more stability on offense with White under center. Wilson offers far more chaos.

On Sunday, a steady hand may have been enough to earn a win. But it's hard to know where Wilson will steer the ship on a weekly basis, and this latest game wasn't the exception.