The New York Jets started out the season with an offense predicated on running the ball to open up easy opportunities in the passing attack. But in recent weeks with second-year quarterback Zach Wilson under center, the team has struggled mightily to move the ball.
This was the case once again on Thursday Night Football, as the Jets stumbled to a 19-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in front of irate fans at MetLife Stadium. New York's losing streak is now at four games as its playoff chances continue to diminish.
Wilson threw for 92 yards and an interception on 9-of-18 passing as the home crowd rained down boos. His play was so bad that he was benched in the third quarter in favor of Chris Streveler, who was elevated from the practice squad prior to Thursday's game.
While the Jets failed to produce points, the offense undoubtedly had better energy with Streveler under center. The third-year signal-caller produced 90 passing yards and a team-high 54 rushing yards. Streveler's success was a further indictment on Wilson's shortcomings.
NFL Twitter didn't hold back in its criticism of Wilson and the Jets offense, as the team's effort was difficult for fans to watch:
Alan Hahn @alanhahn
This is absolutely painful to watch. The entire stadium is turning against the kid. The defense can't get off the field. The offense can't keep them on the sideline for more than 4 plays. Season is in desperation mode. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jets?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jets</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TakeFlight?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TakeFlight</a>
Michael David Smith @MichaelDavSmith
It might sound like hyperbole to say Zach Wilson couldn't start in the XFL, but I'm honestly not sure if he'd start in the XFL or not. Taylor Heinicke is better than Wilson, and Heinicke was a backup in the previous iteration of the XFL. <a href="https://t.co/7ptg57eo3c">https://t.co/7ptg57eo3c</a>
Connor Hughes @Connor_J_Hughes
The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jaguars?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jaguars</a> defense is not good. The conditions aren't great, but they weren't great when the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jets?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jets</a> played the Bears, either. Just as much wind. More rain. <br><br>This offense works. The players work. <br><br>It's not working right now with Zach Wilson. <br><br>I wonder if a change is needed.
Connor Hughes @Connor_J_Hughes
Rarely does regime get opportunity to swing again after missing on QB drafted as highly as Zach Wilson. Picked No. 2 & done after 2 years? Death sentence. <br><br>Douglas' other picks & Saleh's job with team as whole combats that. <br><br>But they have — have — to find QB this offseason
As the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft, Wilson entered the NFL with high expectations. However, it was clear early on that the 23-year-old would need time to develop, and it now appears that he's hit a brick wall in his progress.
With just two games left in the season, a once-promising year has turned bleak for the Jets. New York (7-8) has to hope that Mike White will be ready to return from his rib injury when the team returns to action on New Year's Day against the Seattle Seahawks (7-7).