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How did backup quarterback Zach Wilson fare in the 2023 preseason?

Taking a look at the Jets backup quarterback’s progress

NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at New York Giants Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The hope when the New York Jets drafted Zach Wilson with the 2nd overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft was that Wilson would be their starting quarterback for years to come. Flash forward to today and that plan has clearly gone off the rails, with Wilson relegated to a backup role after the Jets paid a king’s ransom to acquire quarterback Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers.

Sans something calamitous, Zach Wilson will be largely unseen this NFL season. Consequently, Wilson’s preseason snaps take on greater importance in terms of our ability to evaluate him because they are likely the only televised snaps of him that we’ll see all year. Thankfully, his 2023 preseason shows some glimpses of competence.

Through what amounts to about seven quarters worth of games, Zach showed an ability to move the ball rather effectively, to the tune of about 50 passing yards per quarter played. He also had 43 run yards, which amount to about 6 per quarter played.

While the numbers are not eye popping, he did show a higher completion percentage and a lower time-to-throw than he did last season while avoiding turnovers, suggesting that he may have improved a bit since last season.

What remains to be seen is whether Wilson can continue to improve overall as well as in his ability to lead his team to touchdowns. The offense still struggled to score points when Wilson was behind center.