Jets’ Wilson: ‘We’ve got to be better’

Life without Aaron Rodgers may be difficult for the New York Jets(1-1) after all.

On Sunday, New York went into Dallas and got beat up by the Cowboys(2-0) 30-10.

It’s hard to win on the road in the NFL and even harder when you turn the ball over four times. Furthermore, it becomes even harder when you can’t protect your quarterback. The Cowboys had Zach Wilson under duress for most of the game and sacked him three times.

Wilson had moments, including a 68-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson. In addition, he was able to use his legs to get away from pressure, and he rushed for 36 yards. 

However, Wilson completed 12/27 passes for 170 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh thought Wilson played well for most of the game.

“Up until we had to force it, I thought he did a really nice job,” Saleh said after the loss. “He hit that strike route to Garrett for that big touchdown. I thought he did a really nice job at the end of half, moving the chains, getting some points. It just, like I said, that team, when you have to get into a drop-back game consistently with those guys, it’s not going to be pretty.”

Wilson thought he played well for the first three quarters, but to Saleh’s point, things fell apart for the third-year quarterback in the fourth as all three interceptions came in the final quarter. 

“It’s tough, man,” Wilson said. “I thought I was seeing it well for the first three quarters of the game, but we kept getting stopped. There’s always going to be things we can keep cleaning up. But I thought I was seeing it well, at least for the first three quarters. I think when we watch this film, we’ll be able to keep pushing forward on some stuff.”

Wilson is optimistic about the future despite the loss and the struggles on offense.

“We’ve got to be better,” he said. “I need to be better, but we are right there. So, it’s a long season. We’re going to watch this film and see how we can improve. Everyone trusts and believes in each other. Everyone loves each other. We’re excited for the challenge.”

This loss was not on Wilson. Defensively, New York will need this unit to be at their best. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys did not have much resistance from the defense, so again, this unit must lead the way for the Jets.

 New York returns home next Sunday to host the Patriots.

Jets’ Saleh: ‘We got a lot of faith in Zach(Wilson)’

The New York Jets started the season with a big win over their division rival, the Buffalo Bills, in exciting fashion after Xavier Gipson had a walk-off 65-yard punt return to propel New York to a 22-16 win in OT at MetLife Stadium on Monday night.

However, there was a more significant story. Four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers played only four snaps after he tore his Achilles tendon while being sacked by Bills DE Leonard Floyd on the team’s first offensive series.

The 39-year-old is expected to miss the rest of the season.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh says he’s happy about the win but feels for Rodgers.

“I’m going to enjoy this win,” Saleh said after the game. “Winning in the NFL is hard regardless of who the quarterback is. Personally, I don’t hurt for me. I don’t hurt for our locker room. I hurt for Aaron and how much he has invested in all of this. I’m still going to say a prayer. I’m still going to hold out hope, but my heart is with Aaron right now and no one else.”

Without Rodgers, Jets third-year quarterback Zach Wilson played the rest of the way, and he did just enough. Wilson finished the game by completing 14 of 21 passes for 140 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

Like Saleh, Wilson feels sorry for Rodgers.

“I have so much love for Aaron (Rodgers), so my heart goes out to him,” Wilson said. “I have no idea what’s happened. I have to see what happened for a second, but I know he’ll find a way to keep working to get back, but it’s tough. That hurts us as a team, but my job as a quarterback is it’s my job to step up, and I’ve got to be able to be as efficient as I can in that offense.”

On Tuesday, Saleh made it clear that the Jets were Wilson’s team going forward.

“We are going to look through some things, but I do want to make it very clear: Zach (Wilson) is our quarterback,” he said. “We got a lot of faith in Zach. We’re really excited about his opportunity, but we’re rolling with Zach and excited for him and, like I said, this opportunity he’s going to get.”

You have to feeL for Rodgers. At this point, his career could be in jeopardy. It will be challenging for the 19-year veteran to return from this injury.

Regarding Wilson, this is why you drafted the 24-year-old with the second overall pick in the 2021 draft. However, time will be the judge whether or not he’s ready to lead the way for New York. As we saw on Monday night, the Jets’ defense is as advertised, as they forced four turnovers against the Bills, and it appears to be championship caliber. 

New York will probably add another quarterback at some point, and it should be interesting to see what direction they will go in, but at this point, they are all in on Wilson, for better or worse.

Jets’ Saleh happy with Zach Wilson’s play against Browns

Around this time last season, Zach Wilson was the guy for the New York Jets and was expected to take the franchise to the next level. That didn’t happen, and ultimately, the Jets brought in four-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers in the offseason.

This season, the second pick in the 2021 NFL Draft is competing for the backup quarterback position, and in the Hall of Fame Game against the Cleveland Browns in Canton, Ohio, on Thursday night, where the Jets would lose 21-16, Wilson got off to a great start.

He led the Jets on two scoring drives(two field goals) and completed 3 of 5 passes for 65 yards, including a beautiful 57-yard strike to Malik Taylor, which Wilson said Rodgers called from the sideline.

“Yeah, great call by Aaron Rodgers,” Wilson said after the loss. “He wasn’t on the headset. (Nathaniel) Hackett is calling the plays, but I think that was his suggestion of the play, so I had to give him love there.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh added on the throw: “It was really good. I thought he put it right on the money. Zach (Wilson) did a good job; he was poised, looked comfortable in the pocket, delivered the ball on schedule, and definitely something to build on.”

The 24-year-old says he a more confident entering this season, and that confidence was on display on Thursday night.

“Absolutely, absolutely,” Wilson said about being more confident. “For whatever reason, I feel like I’m trying to find my way. I feel like this training camp and OTA’s, I found what feels comfortable for me, and it’s definitely not perfect, but it’s something I’m working at. It’s a great feeling to feel like there’s a good path you’re going down, and you can just keep working on those things. The goal for this preseason stuff is how consistent, how efficient can you be. That was the goal tonight; how efficient can we be offensively?”

According to Saleh, the Jets are looking to rebuild the third-year quarterback’s confidence.

“Yeah, for him, just rebuilding that confidence and swag that we fell in love within the draft process and all that stuff, and I think he is getting it,” Saleh said. “I said it before, he is a rookie all over again, all the footwork is different, the verbiage is different, the way Aaron (Rodgers) plays quarterback, and the way (Nathaniel) Hackett teaches quarterback is a little bit different, so there is a lot of learning, and I think he has been attacking the heck out of it and doing a really nice job.”

Great start for Wilson, and in all reality, who knows how many more years the 39-year Rodgers will play, so it’s good for New York to see growth from Wilson.

Jets’ Rodgers: ‘If we want to be playing in January, we have to be consistent throughout the season’

For the first time in a long time, the New York Jets have championships aspirations. That happened when they acquired four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers.

Last season, the Jets, who finished 7-10, had a fourth-rated defense and decent young wide receivers, but whether it was Zach Wilson or Mike White, they did not have good quarterback play. In addition, on offense, the Jets averaged only 17.4 points per game, which was near the bottom of the league.

Now, they have a quarterback.

On Thursday, Rodgers addressed the media for the first time at Jets’ training camp. According to the 10-time Pro Bowler, the team has to focus on the little things and take it one step at a time.

“You want to be a part of a place that has high expectations, and there is a lot of positivity around here, which I think is a good thing, but we have to temper our expectations early on in camp and focus on the little things to get there,” Rodgers said. “It’s a long season; it’s a journey. There is going to be ups and downs, there is going to be peaks and valleys, and I think we just have to build this thing the right way. There is a lot of excitement, though. That is fun. When I was out in Tahoe, hearing the Jets fans and the response was pretty special. Obviously, with all the positivity comes some people looking to knock you down a little bit.

“There’s going to be a lot of that, so we have to deal with that the right way. An old coach of mine said, “Our greatest difficulty is going to be handling success.” I think that will be true this year for us. As we get into the season and have some success, we have to handle it the right way. Obviously, last year they had a good start to the season and couldn’t finish it off. If we want to be playing in January, we have to be consistent throughout the season.”

New York has a lot of young talent on their roster, and Rodgers believes that roster can help the Jets be successful for the next few seasons.

“I love being around the young energy, that excitement,” he said. “There is a great feel to this team, of guys who are young and super talented on their first contract, many of them. Obviously, ‘Q’ (Quinnen Williams) just got paid. When you have so many great players on rookie deals, it’s pretty exciting. Knowing you can do something, you have a good window. It’s not just a one-year thing where you can be competitive, which is fun.”

Rodgers spent the first 18 years of his career in Green Bay, but Green Bay is nothing like New York, which Rodgers acknowledged.

“It was nothing like New York,” Rodgers said about Green Bay. “I understand that. I appreciate that. I’ve been in an incredible football town for 18 years. This is an incredible sports town. There’s a lot a lot of great franchises here, so I look forward to everything that comes with that.”

The Jets will be on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in August, and Rodgers knows it will bring more attention to the team.

“We kind of knew that they were really wanting us to be part of “Hard Knocks,” he said. “This just brings more attention to us. I don’t think there’s anything nefarious about the way it went down, but I’m excited about people getting to see what we’re all about here and then the interactions with you all during the weeks.”

It should be interesting to see how Rodgers and the Jets will handle “Hard Knocks” and the new expectations. The pressure is on; let’s see how the Jets deal with it.

Jets’ Saleh: ‘We have a tremendous young core’

After defeating the Buffalo Bills in Week 9, the New York Jets were 6-3 and playing their best football of the season heading into the bye week.

Eight weeks later, the Jets(7-9), who lost six of their last seven, including five straight, were officially eliminated from the playoffs after falling on the road to the Seahawks 23-6.

“It’s disappointing,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said after the loss. “Because I know the five-game losing streak, and I know we battled in a bunch of games. This one is — this one, we could have been a lot better, especially these last two games, just I feel like we’re a better football team than this. Obviously starts with me, but yeah.”

Jets quarterback Mike White, who missed the last two games with a rib injury, struggled in his return. White was 23/46 for 240 yards and two interceptions.

Missing the playoffs is tough for White.

“It stings, it’s tough, it’s gut-wrenching, and it’s all of the above; it’s whatever adjective you can use to describe it,” he said. “By no means are there moral victories. In the grand scheme of things, we are playing meaningful football late in the season, but also, I think we are at the point where we don’t care about moral victories.”

Saleh added: “I promise you no one is hurting more than the people in the locker room, especially me. But at the same time, I know it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there’s still a lot of really cool things to look at from this season. But right now, it stings big time right now.”

New York has a lot of questions surrounding the quarterback position. Zach Wilson has not played well this season, but the second overall pick in the 2021 draft, is still only 23 years old and could get better, and while White had some success this season, it doesn’t appear he is the long-term answer for the Jets.

According to Saleh, the Jets have progressed in the two seasons he has been with the team.

“I do; we have a tremendous young core, I do believe that,” he said. “I look at the first half of our season, and we’re fully healthy going into the bye week, we’re 6-3, and everything was looking up. You know, one thing leads to another, and you lose a couple of really tight games, and these last two games, there just hasn’t been anywhere near playoff-caliber football for us. You know you lose to a Minnesota team in the last second, you lose to a Buffalo team in the last second, you lose to the Lions in the last second, and so I know we’re close. I know it stings right now. It stings. But I know we’ve made a lot of headway over the last two years, and we’ll continue to do so.”

The 2022 season was a success for the Jets, and vying for a playoff spot in Week 17 is a win for this team. They still have some questions to answer, but the franchise should be happy about where they stand as they prepare for the offseason.

Jets’ Zach Wilson talks performance against Lions

After being benched for three games due to ineffective play, Zach Wilson got another shot on Sunday against the Lions, and he gave New York an opportunity to win, but with a chance to tie at the end of regulation, Jets kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a 58-yard field goal at the buzzer, and the Jets(7-7) would fall to the Lions(7-7) 20-17 at MetLife Stadium.

New York is one game behind the Dolphins and Chargers for the final two wild-card spots in the AFC.

Wilson, who started for an injured Mike White, did not have a great completion percentage(18/35), but he made a few plays, which helped him end up with 317 yards passing, two touchdowns, and an interception. The second-year quarterback hit on big pass plays, especially in the second quarter, where he had completions of 21, 33, 40, and 50 yards. Wilson threw for 164 yards in the second quarter.

“I thought he had a really good first half,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said about Wilson. “Third quarter, hit some adversity, and then I thought he finished strong, gave us a chance to kick a game-tying kick. But unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”

Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who had four catches for 98 yards, added on Wilson’s play: “That boy battled, and anytime you come into a game and see the speed of the game, you know when you’re getting man coverage and like you said, you haven’t been in that position in three weeks, it’s going to be tough on you. I thought he handled it really well. He showed a lot of perseverance, especially at the end of the game. Making some of the throws he did and setting in there, it gave us a chance to win the game, and that’s all you can ask for.”

Wilson felt he needed to be better.

“I got to be better, man,” he said. “I think you guys saw it, we had explosive plays offensively, but it’s the first and second down, just staying ahead of the sticks. I can think of a number of plays I left out there. You got to look at it like a learning process, just trying to keep improving every single week, and that’s the goal.”

Sometimes players, especially young players, can benefit from being benched, and Wilson discussed what he learned from his break.

“Yeah, I think the biggest thing I learned is that you just have to be able to move on,” he said. “I miss a throw, have a bad interception, you got to move on. You got to for the guys around you; you just have to say, ‘Alright, next play.’ It’s a learning experience; I learned from that one; I have to get better right here and put my guys in the best position I can.”

Saleh did not commit to Wilson as the starter for next week against the Jaguars. When asked if he felt he deserved another start, Wilson said the following:

“No, I think that’s not up to me. For me, I think it comes back to how can I watch this film, how can I improve, and can I keep trying to put our offense in the best situation to win, and I didn’t do that today.”

Wilson sounds humbled, but he didn’t do enough to warrant another start. If White is healthy, which could be a stretch, he should play. 

However, Wilson is still very young(23) and has shown flashes, so he can still grow and become the team’s franchise quarterback, but again, for now, White gives this team the best opportunity to win.

Jets’ Mike White dazzles in win over Bears

New York Jets quarterback Mike White started in place of an ineffective Zach Wilson against the Bears on Sunday, and maybe, just maybe, the Jets may have found their starting quarterback for the rest of the season and beyond.

White, who battled the rain, was 22/28 for 315 yards and three touchdowns as the Jets routed the Bears 31-10 at MetLife Stadium. White led the Jets on an opening drive touchdown for the first time this season when he connected with Garrett Wilson on an eight-yard touchdown pass. In fact, White finished the first half with 235 yards and two touchdowns. The 235 yards in the first half is the most by a Jets quarterback since 2006.

“He did a great job,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said after the win. “He didn’t need to be anybody but Mike White. We didn’t need to turn into ‘The Greatest Show on Turf.’ We just wanted him to play within himself and play efficient. I thought he did that.”

White hit ten different receivers on Sunday, including Jets rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who had five catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson had high praise for White.

“He comes in and prepares, goes about his business the right way and goes about his preparation the right way, and you do things like that consistently, you’re going to get it back on the back end,” Wilson said. “I think we saw that today. That’s a really good talent, really good mindset, and when you have things like that, that’s what comes up.”

In three starts, Flacco threw five touchdowns, Wilson had four touchdowns in seven starts, and White came close to that number on Sunday. 

“It’s awesome, just going out there and playing football with your friends and guys you’ve been with for a couple years now,” White said about getting the start. “When it wasn’t my time to play, obviously, I’m super supportive of them, and I’m having fun with them, too, but just to be out there and be a part of it and help the team win is always fun.”

Jets fans have been waiting for this type of quarterback play all season long and, at one point, were chanting White’s name.

“It’s always cool,” White said about the chants. “I’m not going to sit here and give you some quarterback cliché that I’m not focusing on that, which, there are times I’m not. But towards the end of the game, I think it would be a lot cooler if they didn’t do it while we were trying to snap the ball, but no, I’m not going to complain too much about that.”

Last season, White started four games for the Jets, and there were some highs, which included throwing for 405 yards against the Bengals, and some lows, which included a four-interception game against the Bills, but according to White, those lows have helped him.

“Yeah, I think going out there, you have the experience to draw on from last year,” he said. “but every game is its own game, and you’ve got to play to such, but having the experience of being out there and having the highs, having the lows as well, you can’t just learn from the highs, you’ve got to learn from the lows, and drawing upon that and using that to help you however you can.”

Following this performance, the 27-year-old quarterback has earned another start and should be the starter the rest of the way. After his play on Sunday, you wonder why he was not the guy earlier in the season when Wilson was injured. White, who was impressive in the preseason, picked up where he left off in the preseason, and the Jets hope it continues.

Jets’ Wilson: ‘It was a frustrating day’

For 59-plus minutes, the New York Jets(6-4) kept the New England Patriots(6-4) out of the end zone, but they could not keep them out of the end zone for the entire 60 minutes as the Patriots’ Marcus Jones returned a punt 84 yards with five seconds left to give New England a 10-3 win over the Jets at Gillette Stadium.

Jones’ touchdown was the first punt return for a touchdown this season.

“Yeah, it’s a crappy way to lose,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said. “You feel like you’re exchanging blows from a defensive standpoint from both teams, and somebody could just make a play and get it to overtime. They made a play, and we didn’t.”

Jets corner D.j. Reed added: “I’m still in disbelief. Marcus Jones, I know him from college; he went to Houston. Hell of a punt returner, and they gave him a chance. He is a great punt returner, and he got his touchdown. Credit to them for doing that. I’m in disbelief; it’s a tough loss.”

The Jets held the Patriots’ offense to three points and sacked Mac Jones six times. However, New York’s offense was nonexistent, especially in the second half, as they had only two yards of total offense. New York finished the game with 103 total yards. Zach Wilson completed 9 of 22 passes for 77 yards, and New York, in that dreaded second half, had -21 passing yards.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh had a few choice words to describe the team’s offensive performance in the second half:

“It was dog sh*t,” he said.

Like many on the team, Wilson was disappointed by the team’s performance on offense.

“Yeah, it’s super frustrating,” Wilson said. “It was a frustrating day, of course. I feel like I had some balls that got away from me. But we got to find ways on offense. We got to do some digging, watch the film, and see what we can do better.”

Jets rookie wideout Garrett Wilson, who had two catches for 12, did not mince words when talking about the offense.

This s–t’s sorry,” Wilson told reporters. “We’re out here looking sorry, man. We know that we’re not sorry. So that’s why it really hurts. We know that we’re better than that. We can do more.”

Despite the poor effort, Saleh said he had no intentions of bringing in backup quarterback Mike White and is still sticking with Wilson.

 “I’ve told you guys before, Zach’s our quarterback, and we’re going to, we’ve got to find ways to help him get better,” Saleh said.

The Jets have not beaten the Patriots since 2010, and this game had playoff implications as New York was swept by the Pats this season. Fortunately for the Jets, seven games are still left, but Wilson and the offense have to be better.

Jets’ Huff: ‘We’re not the same old Jets’

The New York Jets(6=3) showed the AFC East and the NFL that they can compete with the top teams as they defeated the Buffalo Bills(6-2) 20-17 Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Many are shocked by this win for the Jets, but according to head coach Robert Saleh, he’s not surprised.

“Last week, we felt like we gave one away,” Saleh said after the win. “We practiced well this week. Not that practice ever translates, but I feel like it does. Last week wasn’t demoralizing to anyone. It was like, ‘damn, we are pretty good’ when you’re feeling like you should win football games. There wasn’t a coach or a person in that locker room that didn’t think we were going to be able to get this one done.”

Jets DE Bryce Huff, who had a huge strip-sack of Josh Allen on the Bills’ final drive, says this is not the same old Jets.

“We’re not the same old Jets,” he said. “We’ve got a group of guys here that love to work. We show up to work every day with the same mindset, just get better and go 1-0 on Sunday.”

One of the biggest reasons the Jets got the win was their defense. New York’s defense held the Bills to a season-low 17 points; they held one of the best quarterbacks in football, Allen, without a touchdown pass for the first time this season, and they intercepted him twice. In addition, they sacked Allen five times in this one, and the Pro Bowler completed only 52%(18/34) of his passes.

Coming into this game, the Jets were in the top ten in total defense and sacks, and after two picks on Sunday, they are now second in interceptions. One of the things the players believe makes this defense go is their relationship off the field.

“We really love each other,” Jets corner D.J. Reed said. “We hang out outside of football; everybody’s close-knit, just close, it’s family. I think that’s all we’ve got to go play for each other that hard.”

DE Jermaine Johnson added on the defense: “We really forget the business side of the NFL. It feels like we’re on a high school team, like that’s the camaraderie we got, and we’re just close. Like we hang out outside the building, we have fun when we’re in the building; it’s not just business to us. So, there’s a real-life connection here, and we display it. It’s getting better every Sunday.”

With the Jets trailing 14-10 in the third quarter, New York’s rookie corner Sauce Gardner intercepted Allen, which set up the Jets’ final touchdown and gave the team a lead late in the third. Gardner discussed what he saw on that interception.

“We were in a cover-two concept, to my side,” he said. “The receiver got outside of me, and they had a running back there sat in front of me. It was a running back or receiver; I don’t know. I just, I felt like I had a feel for Josh Allen and the throws he likes to make. So, I was just taking away the throws to the running back; I tried to time it up to make the play.”

Defense wins championships, but that’s not to say the Jets are a championship-caliber team; however, it says because of its defense, New York will be able to compete with some of the better teams in football, and they showed that on Sunday.

Jets’ Saleh on Wilson: ‘He doesn’t flinch’

Two things the New York Jets(2-2) know how to do: win on the road and do it in comeback fashion, and they did that on Sunday against the Steelers(1-3).

New York, who won their first game of the season on the road against the Browns in comeback fashion in Week 2, did the same things against the Steelers. The Jets trailed 20-10 in the fourth quarter but scored 14 points in the final stanza to defeat Pittsburgh 24-20 at Acrisure Stadium.

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson made his 2022 debut Sunday and led the Jets on two scoring drives in the fourth. It wasn’t all good for Wilson as he threw two picks, but he got the job done when the Jets needed him the most.

The second-year quarterback was 10/12 for 128 yards and a touchdown in the fourth and ended the day 18/36 for 252 yards, a touchdown, and two picks. Also, he had a two-yard touchdown reception in the first half.

“He doesn’t flinch,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said about Wilson after the win. “There was a couple plays that I’m sure he wishes he had back. The young man doesn’t flinch. He got us out of a lot of bad situations with his mobility. I thought he played a pretty good game for his first game back.”

On the final drive for the Jets, the team traveled 65 yards on 10 plays, which ended with a two-yard Breece Hall touchdown. According to Wilson, he knew the offense would score on that drive.

“From the beginning, I think there was no doubt in my mind, especially when we hit a couple quick passes and stuff there, too, and we were running the ball well,” Wilson said about scoring on the final drive. “I feel like as an offense, you can just feel it.”

The Jets finished 3-14 last season and did not win their second game until Week 8 in 2021, and after four weeks, Saleh is really proud of his team.

“It was just a really cool NFL game,” he said. “And for as young as we are, to have the mindset to stay in it, go 60 minutes, again, really proud of the group with the mindset and just exchanging blows with another opponent being 2-2 right now, it’s pretty good. We’ve got a really good chance. But you never know.”

The Jets probably don’t get this win in 2021, but credit the team for fighting hard and getting another tough win on the road.


Wilson caught the first touchdown pass of his career as Braxton Berrios connected with him on a two-yard touchdown pass.

‘Yeah, first I hand it, and I see everyone flowing, and I’m like, oh, thank goodness,” Wilson said about the play. “I’ve got the best hands on the team.”