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’ 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.

Notes:

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.”

Jets’ Flacco on facing Ravens: ‘There’s going to be some different emotions that I haven’t experienced before’

New York Jets coach Robert Saleh made it official today when he announced that Joe Flacco will start at quarterback against his former team, the Baltimore Ravens, on Sunday in the season-opener at MetLife Stadium.

According to Saleh, second-year quarterback Zach Wilson(knee) will likely return at the earliest in Week 4 against the Steelers.

The 37-year-old Flacco is grateful for the opportunity to be a starter in the NFL.

“Yeah, I mean, I’ve talked about it a lot. It should be an exciting one,” Flacco said. “Listen, anytime you get a chance to lace them up on Sunday and try to put yourself and the team in the best situation you can; it’s a lot of fun; grateful for the opportunity, but yeah, obviously, there’s going to be some different emotions that I haven’t experienced before with this one…

“I think at the end of the day, it is like every other game once the dust settles and the game gets going. It’s a football game. You’re lining up, and you’re playing against the guy across from you. So, I’ve played it enough to know that at some point, that’s going to be the time; maybe the first snap or two will be even extra kind of crazy feelings that go into it, but after that, I’ve been a part of a bunch of playoff games and all those things, and it’s a football game at the end of the day. It’s just a matter of when it settles in and when you can let your mind calm down a little bit.

The 15-year veteran spent 11 seasons in Baltimore and won a Super Bowl with the Ravens. He last played for the Ravens in 2018, where he would eventually lose his job after injury to current Ravens starter Lamar Jackson, but despite losing his job due to injury, Flacco had no ill will towards Baltimore. 

“It’s part of the business, and obviously, your competitive nature has certain feelings about it, but a lot of those things are out of my control to a certain extent,” he said. “Like I said, what I’ve been trying to do ever since then is kind of just keep my head down and work and get better at football and look for the best opportunity.”

This will be Flacco’s last chance to prove that he can still be a starter in the NFL, and fortunately for him, he’ll have at least three weeks to show the Jets he’s still that guy. If he has success, those three games could be even longer. 

Jets place Becton on IR, sign Brown, Wilson has surgery

On Tuesday, the New York Jets placed RT Mekhi Becton on injured reserve after he sustained a season-ending right knee injury on August 8. The 23-year-old Becton injured the same knee in 2021, which caused him to miss 16 games. However, this is a different injury. The No. 11 overall pick out of Louisville was Joe Douglas’ first draft pick as general manager of the team in 2020.

The day before, New York officially signed five-time Pro Bowl LT Duane Brown. The 15-year veteran was around the team during the Green & White practice last Saturday night, and after the injury to Becton, the Jets were expected to sign Brown.

According to reports, it’s a two-year, $22 million deal.

Last season, the 36-year-old had a Pro Bowl season with the Seahawks. While in Seattle, Brown played with current Jets RT George Fant. 

Obviously, losing Becton was a big blow to the Jets, but being able to add a Pro-Bowl left tackle in Brown is a solid signing for the team.

In other Jets news, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, quarterback Zach Wilson’s arthroscopic knee surgery was deemed a success. There were no surprises from the original diagnosis. New York reportedly won’t put him on the field until he’s completely healthy.

Wilson hurt his knee while scrambling against the Eagles in the team’s first preseason game.  When Wilson’s injury was announced, he was expected to be out 2-4 weeks, so veteran quarterback Joe Flacco will probably be the starter Week 1 for the Jets against his former team, the Baltimore Ravens.

New York returns to the practice field on Thursday as they prepare for their Monday night showdown against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium.

Jets lose Wilson in preseason win over Eagles

The goal of the preseason is to get some good work for your starters and young players and, most importantly, leave the game with no injuries.

Unfortunately, for the Jets in their preseason opener at Lincoln Financial Field against the Philadelphia Eagles, that did not happen.

First, the good news, the Jets defeated the Eagles 24-21. Not ultra important, but good news.

Now, the bad news. Jets second-year quarterback Zach Wilson left in the first quarter and did not return when he injured his right knee after scrambling from the pocket. Wilson tried to cut and his knee slightly buckled. He walked to the locker room on his own power, surrounded by team officials. 

At this point, the Jets wait for the MRI on Saturday.

According to Jets coach Robert Saleh, Wilson’s ACL is intact, but he’ll wait until the testing is done. 

“I’m always concerned until I get the final evaluation,” Saleh said after the game. “We walked off the field with great, positive thoughts, and it’s been opposite. We’ve walked off the field with bad initial readings, and it was opposite. I’m not going to put anything out there, just let it play out, and we’ll see tomorrow.”

Wilson’s injury seemingly could have been avoided if he had run out of bounds on his scramble instead of trying to cut back inside. When asked if Wilson should have gone out of bounds, Saleh said, “One hundred percent.”

Saleh did say Wilson was in good spirits.

“He’s in good spirits,” Saleh said. “He’s fine, a little frustrated obviously, but he’s as good as you can be in this situation.”

If Wilson is lost for the year, at this point, the 37-year-old Joe Flacco, who did not play Friday night, would be the guy. Recently, Saleh said Flacco is still a viable starter in the NFL.

“You guys know how I feel about Joe, everyone does, the whole world does,” he said. “Joe’s a phenomenal football player. He’s having a great camp, and he’s got a lot of juice left in the tank.”

It’s been a rough week for New York as they lost RT Mekhi Becton, probably for the year, with a leg injury, and now Wilson, who missed four games last season with a sprained PCL in his right knee.

Hopefully, good news is on the way for the Jets.

Back to the game, quarterback Chris Streveler would connect with WR Calvin Jackson on a five-yard touchdown pass with 16 seconds left to give the Jets the win. Streveler finished the game 6/9 for 62 yards and two touchdowns.

Jets’ Saleh was happy with Zach Wilson’s performance at Green & White Practice

The New York Jets had their Green & White Practice Saturday under the lights at MetLife Stadium. 

It was an opportunity for the team to connect with the fans and an opportunity for the Jets to continue to get some good work in as they prepare for the upcoming NFL season.

Second-year quarterback Zach Wilson had some decent moments in this scrimmage. According to Newsday’s Al Iannazzone, Wilson was 12/19 for 100 yards, touchdown, interception. 

Jets coach Robert Saleh was happy with Wilson’s performance. 

“I really thought it was really good,” Saleh said. “He dropped a dime over a buzz defender’s head in the second half there, and I thought it was a chance to keep the drive going, had a really good strike there in the two-minute drive. I think it was to Corey (Davis). He moved around in the pocket, found some open lanes to run in, and bide some time. He was really good in the huddle, just standing back there listening to him. He was good with cadence because he was changing up his cadence. So, I thought he was really good.”

One guy that stood out at the scrimmage was fifth-year tight end Tyler Conklin, who Wilson has been connecting with throughout training camp.

According to the New York Post’s Brian Costello, Conklin had four catches Saturday night.

Saleh was happy with Conklin and the rest of the Jets’ tight ends. 

“Conk (Tyler Conklin) is awesome, he’s been fantastic for us,” Saleh said. “Him and C.J. (Uzomah), they’ve been really good. (Trevon) Wesco has been really good, (Lawrence) Cager has been really good. The whole group really has been really good for us, but as far as he’s concerned, just his ability on third down to create separation and win those one-on-one’s and be a run blocker, he’s an all-around tight end. He’s been a pleasant surprise.”

There were drops by some of the Jets wideouts, but it’s nothing that is concerning to Saleh.

I could make excuses,” he said. “We’re professionals; we got to make plays. But, at the same time, just talking to the guys, the first time you’re in the stadium, the depth perception is much different. So, you have to retrain your eyes for all of that, too. Not to make excuses for them; it’s a real thing, and just adjusting to all of it. That’s why we had these scrimmages here. That’s why we have preseason games, so we can get acclimated to everything. Overall, I even thought the receivers battled a lot in man coverage, won some one-on-ones, and overall, a decent day from that group.”

New York gets back to the practice field on Monday.

Jets’ Saleh: ‘I think Zach(Wilson) will be a lot better’

After struggling in his rookie season, the New York Jets are hoping that QB Zach Wilson will be better in 2022. Last season, the second overall pick in the 2021 draft struggled as he threw for 2,334 with only nine touchdowns and 11 picks in 13 starts. In those 13 starts, the Jets were 3-10 and finished the season 4-13.

“I have to do better,” Wilson said earlier this week. “So, how can I keep improving? And not stressing so much about the season coming up and the expectations and all that. It’s how can I keep improving day by day and trusting in the guys around me, get them the football, be consistent, throw good balls, be smart, all the things a quarterback needs to do. And I think that’ll take care of itself.”

According to his coach, Wilson, who added around 12 pounds from last season, has gotten better. 

“I think he already has,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said Friday about Wilson taking the next step. “I think Zach(Wilson) will be a lot better, but at the same time, we are a very young group. So, we’ve added guys, but it’s a young group. You’ve got a rookie. You’ve got a second-year player. Obviously, Corey (Davis) is there, and Braxton (Berrios). You got Jeff (Smith) and (Denzel) Mims and a couple other guys. The backfield is young. It is a young group, but at the same time, what is going to be fun is watching this group gel together and create its own identity. Obviously, we have some good players, and they’re all going to grow together. Aside from all of that, I thought Zach did a really good job in the offseason. He’s continued in the first week.”

Last season, Wilson, who was sacked 44 times, completed only 55.6% of his passes, which must improve in 2022, and he expects to improve that number.

“I don’t think it’s something mechanically that needs to be changed,” Wilson said. “I feel like I’ve always been able to throw the ball. When you understand where to go with the ball, and you have that confidence and understanding within the offense, you’re able to be accurate because you’re confident where you’re going with the ball. I think that’s one thing, and also finding completions. Just telling yourself on every single play, yes, make the best decision but find a completion too. Maybe sometimes you might miss the one down the field, but as long as you’re finding a completion, you’re doing the right thing.”

The 22-year-old recently had some off-the-field relationship drama, but for him, the focus is on football. 

“It comes with the position,” he said. “So, really, it’s just handling my business, handling what matters, and keeping my family tight. We’re all good. So, I’m excited to be here and really just focus on football. I’ve never mentally felt like I’m in a better spot than I am now, so I’m excited to be here.”

In the offseason, Wilson spent time in Idaho with some Jets players; according to Wilson, the players did many things, including working on the field.

“We found a spot, a little ranch, (Gazza) Ranch in Northern Idaho,” Wilson said. “We flew. A lot of the guys were like, ‘We’re going to Canada. Where are we going?’ But, they had quite the trip out there. We had an awesome spot. It was great for us. We went golfing one day, boating the next day, taught those guys how to wake surf a little bit. They set up a perfect field for us, painted some NFL lines for us. We got to work on a lot of stuff. More than anything, it was like I said back when we were leaving OTAs; it was a good bonding moment for all of us to sit by the fire at night and talk. It was a really cool trip. We definitely had a blast together.”

To Saleh’s point, the Jets are a young football team, and the weapons around Wilson are also young. So, as they grow, hopefully for the Jets, Wilson will continue to grow and improve in 2022 and beyond.

Jets, Wilson happy with performance against Giants

New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson had some decent moments against the Giants on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium. The number two overall pick led the Jets on two drives and scored three points. 

Wilson finished the game 6/9 for 63 yards, and the Jets would defeat the Giants 12-7

“He looked comfortable, especially on third down,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said about Wilson. “Made some good throws, directed the offense really well. Got in and out of the huddle. We moved it very well for those first two series. It was a good first day.”

Wilson agreed with Saleh’s assessment of his performance.

“I thought it was good,” he said. “Of course, still things to clean up, but it was a great experience. I really enjoyed having just that game-like setting and the introduction to the NFL and the whole game. It’s great for everybody, no matter how much football you’ve played. It was awesome just to be able to get out there and do that.”

With Wilson at the helm, the Jets were 2/3 on third down, which impressed Saleh.

“You just want him to get his feet wet,” Saleh said. “Show that the game’s not too big for him, which he obviously showed. Especially in those third-down moments, he had a couple of critical third-down conversions there that I thought is the epitome of playing quarterback in this league, staying on the field, and scoring points in 2:00 situations. He had an opportunity; obviously, with those third-down opportunities, 2:00, he’ll eventually get.”

Earlier in camp, there were reports that Wilson was having some struggles, but at this point, Wilson feels he is starting to get more comfortable with the offense and NFL football.

“I think it’s just like you were saying, getting more comfortable with everything,” he said. “The offense is all installed at this point. To an extent, we’ll throw some more things in there, but now it’s just repetition. It’s like, how much can I just keep working on the same exact plays, and now I’m getting every single different look in practice and then coming out here, it’s great for all of us to be able to just go through that whole thing because now we’re starting to settle in and being able to just keep working on getting better on all of these.”

The Giants rested a lot of their starters on both sides of the ball on Saturday night, and it’s preseason game number one, but seeing Wilson look comfortable and play an efficient game has to bring some excitement to the Jets organization.