Zach Wilson is no longer the New York Jets‘ quarterback — at least for the rest of today’s game. With Gang Green down 29-6 late in the third quarter, head coach Robert Saleh pulled the plug on Wilson and inserted backup QB Tim Boyle.
Jets Bench Zach Wilson in Week 11
It’s unclear if Wilson was benched for his poor performance or because the game was somewhat out of hand. But most NFL quarterbacks aren’t removed in the third quarters of games that are still within three scores.
Saleh will surely be asked after the game whether Boyle will be the Jets’ starting quarterback moving forward. Despite Wilson’s struggles, Saleh had steadfastly stood by the former No. 2 overall pick. It still seems entirely possible that Wilson will be New York’s stater when the club faces the Miami Dolphins on Black Friday.
But if this is the end of Wilson’s second stint as the Jets’ starter, he’ll have gone out in a flurry of incompetence. Wilson completed just seven of his 15 attempts for 81 yards, one touchdown, and one interception against Buffalo.
Rough day for #Jets QB Zach Wilson as he takes out his head coach and is benched shortly after.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) November 20, 2023
As usual, New York’s offensive ineptitude wasn’t entirely Wilson’s fault, as wide receivers Garrett Wilson and Xavier Gipson both lost fumbles. But the Jets entered Bills territory just once with Wilson under center.
No quarterback metric paints Wilson in anything close to a positive light. He’s dead last in the league in EPA per play and passing success rate and third-worst in QBR and touchdown rate.
Wilson has posted just two games this season — Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs and Week 10 against the Las Vegas Raiders — in which he’s looked like anything close to a league-average quarterback.
Of course, Boyle is unlikely to suddenly reverse the Jets’ fortunes. The 29-year-old has started only three games during his NFL career, all of which came during the 2021 season when Boyle was with the Detroit Lions.
Aaron Rodgers is reportedly far ahead of schedule as he works his way back from his Week 1 Achilles tear. As FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported on Sunday morning, Rodgers thinks he can return for the Jets’ Week 16 game against the Washington Commanders.
But New York is two games outside the AFC’s seventh seed after falling to 4-6 following today’s loss. With two matchups against the Dolphins and a game against the Houston Texans standing between the Jets and Week 16, Gang Green could be 5-9 or even 4-10 by the time Rodgers is ready to play again.
Fantasy Fallout From Wilson’s Benching
Fantasy managers and Jets fans alike are about to find out exactly why the team gave Wilson such a long leash this season after deciding to insert Boyle into the game late in the third quarter.
The move to Boyle under center may not improve the fantasy value of Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, or Tyler Conklin, but it would be hard to definitively say it hurts their value, either.
Wilson did see a minimum of 12 targets in the four games leading up to New York’s Week 11 showdown against the Bills but had just one reception for four yards on five targets through the first three quarters of today’s game.
We’ll have to see if Wilson can maintain his hefty target share with Boyle under center if the Jets decide to keep him as their starting quarterback in Week 12.
— PFN Fantasy Analyst Derek Tate