The past 10 days for the New York Jets have been worse than anyone could have ever imagined. The Jets were arguably the team with the most attention on them during training camp as a result of the acquisition of future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. It looked like they had a significant chance of making the postseason for the first time in over a decade. There was even a possibility that New York could compete for the Super Bowl. All of these hopes surrounding the Jets came to a screeching halt when Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon in his first game against the Buffalo Bills, ending his season just four offensive snaps after it started.
Now that Rodgers is done, the Jets claim that former second overall draft pick Zach Wilson will be able to keep the Jets competitive for the rest of the season. However, given Wilson’s constant struggles since entering the NFL, it’s hard to see this as the right answer. Wilson has not proven that he is capable of being the starting quarterback for the Jets. Last season, he was so bad that he got benched after a 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots in week 11, where he threw for just 77 passing yards.
At the end of the 2022 season, the NFL ranked Wilson as the worst primary starting quarterback for all 32 teams. At the end of the season, owner Woody Johnson and general manager Joe Douglas knew they couldn’t stick with Wilson as their starter with so much talent on the rest of the roster, so they traded for Aaron Rodgers.
Now that Rodgers is out for the season, it seems strange for the Jets to be totally fine with Wilson serving as their starting quarterback again. Despite taking advice from Rodgers throughout training camp, Wilson has still shown signs of his old self, particularly when he threw an interception to Matt Milano against the Bills in week one.
The Jets have been very cautious with the play-calling for Wilson, presumably because they’re concerned that he’ll make a bad play. The most notable example of this was during 3rd and 17 play on the first drive of the second half against the Dallas Cowboys. On what most would think is a surefire pass play, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett called for a handoff to running back Michael Carter, which resulted in a useless two yard gain. Some may argue that they didn’t want Wilson to risk throwing an interception in a close game with plenty of time remaining. However, people wouldn’t be thinking that if the Jets had a quarterback that they have more confidence in, like Rodgers.
With so much talent on the rest of the roster, the Jets need a quarterback who can provide enough consistency to take risks and win games. They don’t need someone that’s going to carry the team; they already have a defense capable of doing that. They just need someone who won’t promote losing and hold them down as Zach Wilson does.
The most reasonable solution to the Jets quarterback dilemma seems to be Jacoby Brissett. He is currently the backup quarterback for the Washington Commanders after signing with them this past offseason. Last year with the Cleveland Browns, Brissett was solid in his 11 starts, throwing for 2,608 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. While it’s unclear what the Commanders would want for Brissett, the Jets have some third, fourth, and fifth round draft picks in 2024, and some combination of those would be a good return for a backup quarterback. Brissett is exactly what the Jets need right now: someone who is a good caretaker of the football and won’t constantly make bad decisions. With several difficult games coming up in the next few weeks, the Jets need to start making phone calls before they get too far behind in the standings; if not, they will likely be in for another long and difficult season.