Sometimes you need an outside view to get your attention

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You could say that the

weather was a factor in the struggles of the Jets’ passing offense in New England.

Zach Wilson touched on this a little after the game.

“I think you have to take into account it’s windy as hell out there too, guys,” Wilson said to reporters after the game.

Wilson finished the game 9-22 for 77 yards with a 50.8 QB rating.

However, New England’s QB, Mac Jones, was 23-27, for 246 yards, with a 104.6, in the same conditions.

No, it wasn’t ideal throwing weather, but a lot of Wilson’s issues weren’t weather related.

Patriots radio analyst Scott Zolak, a former NFL QB, called him “Backfoot Barry” after a few throws. In other words, some of his errant throws, especially the ones that sailed, were thrown off his back foot.

An example of this was in the first quarter. On the final play of the Jets’ second possession, on third-and-seven, the drive ended with an incomplete pass from Zach Wilson to Garrett Wilson.

Zolak made two points after the play – one about the back foot issue, and also another issue:

“Backfoot Barry,” Zolak said. “[The Patriots] had a blitz – they picked up, but I (Zach Wilson) can’t hang in there, I gotta rush this throw because I’m in panic mode.”

Late in the first half, Wilson overthrew tight end Tyler Conklin, and could have been picked off by Devin McCourty, but the safety dropped it.

“He back foots it, again,” Zolak said. “It’s not close to anybody. He overthrew his tight end by six feet.”

On the Jets first offensive play of the second half, Wilson threw a bubble screen over the head of Braxton Berrios on the left side.

“Set your feet and stop throwing sidearm,” Zolak said. “Who do you think you are? You’re not Patrick Mahomes. He’s the only guy who can do that kind of stuff. Talk about streetball. Settle this guy down!”

Late third quarter, Wilson overthrew Denzel Mims on a bubble screen on the left side.

“Captain Nervous – Backfoot Barry, Chucking Charlie,” Zolak said. “Going backward from his hip, and he sails it,”  Zolak said.

Late in the game, Wilson was nearly picked off by defensive back Jonathan Jones on a deep out on the right side.

Zolak said that Wilson “stared down” his receiver on that play.

On a sack by safety Kyle Duggar in the fourth quarter on a blitz, Zolak said, “How do you not see that? This kid’s in la-la land.”

Sometimes you need somebody from the outside to wake you up. Sometimes if you are too close, you “can’t see the forest for the trees.”

While I would stay away from the nicknames, because that’s not my style, it’s hard to argue with anything Zolak said.

After the game Robert Saleh was asked if, with Wilson’s struggles, was there every a point during the game he considered going to Mike White:

“No, no,” Saleh said.

Follow-up question – “If this continues, if Zach continues to struggle, do you have to go to Mike?”

“No, that is the furthest thing from my mind,” Saleh said. “I’ve told you guys before, Zach’s our quarterback and we’re going to find ways to help him get better.”

So clearly this Jets season is about developing Wilson, and other things are secondary.

What other conclusion can you draw after what we saw in the two losses to a very average Patriots team that hurt the Jets in the playoff race?

November 20, 2022

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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