The Jets lost yesterday which means it is time to give out an anti-game ball.
I really hate it when I have to give the anti-game ball to the quarterback. I hate it even more when the quarterback is a rookie. I hate it more still when it is the rookie’s second game.
I just don’t think there is much choice today. I can’t think of an option other than Zach Wilson.
Wilson’s four interception performance on Sunday was as ugly as it gets. It was also fairly unique in the recent pantheon of young Jets quarterbacks. Sam Darnold, Geno Smith, and Mark Sanchez all failed to prove they were the long-term answer, but there was usually at least some ambiguity in their respective failures.
Sure these quarterbacks all performed poorly, but their poor performances were typically swept in a tide of broader organizational failure. Even if they weren’t playing effectively, everything around them was also a mess. It was difficult to pintpoint exactly where the problems were caused by the quarterback and where the team was causing the quarterback to have problems.
It wasn’t always convincing, but there has usually been a plausible argument that things weren’t as bad as they seemed for the quarterback.
You can’t really say that about Wilson’s game on Sunday. On the whole, the Jets didn’t actually play badly as a team. He had a large degree of culpability on all four of his interceptions. On only one was there a plausible case to put the primary blame on somebody else, and even that is highly debatable.
On the first watch of the game it also didn’t seem to me like the Patriots were doing a lot to force these mistakes. This game was about Wilson making fairly basic mistakes.
All we can do is hope Wilson shakes off this ugly game and grows. For today, however, he has to get the anti-game ball.