New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson failed to live up to expectations in year one. In 13 starts, the former BYU gunslinger tossed nine touchdowns to 11 interceptions while completing 55.6 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 69.7.
The numbers aren’t pretty, but there’s still reason for optimism with Wilson moving forward. He had very little to work with in 2021 and at times, his explosive arm and sneaky athletic ability flashed. His Pro Football Focus rushing grade of 86.8 speaks to that underrated athleticism.
Wilson was also quite efficient when it mattered most. When the Jets found their way into the redzone, Wilson did not disappoint, posting a passer rating 105.4 whenever his team was within 20 yards of the end zone, the fourth-highest rating of any quarterback in the league last season.
In the red zone, Wilson tossed six touchdowns and didn’t commit a single turnover. He completed 58.54 percent of his passes down there for 115 yards.
There’s no doubt that Wilson still has a lot of work to do before the Jets can confidently crown him as their franchise quarterback, but being an efficient passer from the red zone is a great start. Young quarterbacks often struggle when the field shrinks near the goal line. With the condensed field, defenders tend to be more aggressive, especially against young signal callers. Wilson didn’t fall into that trap, playing at his best when his team was on the doorstep of the goal line.
With a full season under his belt and a complete offseason with the team, Zach Wilson has shown that he has the potential to take that stellar play from the red zone and stretch it out to the entire field. In his second year in the system, Wilson should be able to improve in the areas he needs work in, while continuing to be lethal from the red zone.