Zach Wilson, the man the Jets hope will grow into their franchise quarterback and help shape them into a Super Bowl contender, was back under center on Sunday for the first time this season. He gave the Jets cause for celebration.
Wilson made his first start of the season after a knee injury in August in the first quarter of the Jets’ first preseason game resulted in him having a bone bruise and meniscus tear in his right knee that required surgery. The second-year QB, who had a rough rookie season last year, was sidelined for the Jets’ first three regular season games. So how he would perform in his return was something Jets fans were highly anticipating.
The 23-year-old Wilson leading a late game-winning drive has given the fan base hope he just might have the goods to be a top quarterback. One moment isn’t enough, but it helped the Jets earn a big 24-20 comeback road win over the Pittsburgh Steelers to reach 2-2. Last season, the Jets started 1-3 and didn’t win their first Game unil Week 4.
The Jets took a 10-6 lead at halftime versus the Steelers, who dropped to 1-3, but fell behind 20-10 by the fourth quarter. Wilson took charge and marched the Jets 81 yards for a touchdown to wide receiver Corey Davis with 7:31 remaining then another for 65 yards with :16 left as rookie running back Breece Hall fought his way into the end-zone for a 2-yard touchdown.
It was the second time this season the Jets won a game after trailing late. The defeated the Cleveland Browns 31-30 in Week 2 with quarterback Joe Flacco taking them downfield for a 15-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson with only 22 seconds on the clock.
“All the ups and downs of trying to overcome adversity, it was just such a good win,” said Wilson, who completed 18 of his 36 passes for 252 yards with one touchdown. Wilson also caught a touchdown pass on a trick play in the second quarter. He handed off the ball to receiver Braxton Berrios who threw a short pass back to Wilson in the end zone.
“I think there was so much growth those last two minutes as an offense, executing a drive as clean as it was and punching it in. It was just awesome,” Wilson noted.
“Zach doesn’t flinch,” said Jets head coach Robert Saleh. “I’m sure there were a couple of plays he wishes he had back. But he got us out of a lot of bad situations with his mobility. I thought he played a pretty good game his first game back.”
The Jets will host the 3-1 Miami Dolphins this Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Their AFC East rival will be without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who suffered a concussion against the Cincinnati Bengals last Thursday in a 27-15 loss.