Jets takeaways from Saturday's win over Packers, including an outstanding showing from Zach Wilson

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Zach Wilson great shot white uniform Packers not visible
Zach Wilson great shot white uniform Packers not visible

That was the best that Zach Wilson has looked so far.

Yes, it’s still only preseason, and it was against the Green Bay Packers backups, but the Jets’ 22-year-old rookie quarterback was still outstanding in his second outing. He completed 9 of 11 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. He even left with the Jets holding a 17-14 lead at halftime, in a game they’d go on to win 23-14.

Wilson was sharp, looked comfortable, and made some very smart decisions. And it was more than just being efficient. He made some impressive throws. One was a big-time, third-down throw for 24 yards to Corey Davis on a 3rd and 8. And he made another two drives later where he had to look off what appeared to be his first two reads to his left, sidestepped some pressure, and then just flicked a pass down the sidelines to Davis for 27 yards.

He made only one bad pass – a throw low and behind Davis as he was cutting across the field. Every other throw was on the mark, including his two 18-yard touchdown passes to tight end Tyler Kroft.

Again, it’s just the preseason. The Packers weren’t game-planning specifically for Wilson, and obviously this wasn’t against a starting defense. But it was a nice step forward for the Jets franchise quarterback, whose first real start is only three weeks away.

Here are some more takeaways from the Jets’ second preseason game …

  • Every quarterback needs a No. 1 receiver he can rely on, so it’s good to see Wilson and Davis finally developing some chemistry. Davis had four catches for 70 yards and was targeted two other times. One was a bad throw by Wilson. The other was broken up from behind by a nice play from Packers rookie CB Eric Stokes. Davis is so good at getting open and is such a big target (6-3, 209), he’s going to be a huge help.

  • It seems pretty clear that Kroft is the Jets’ starting tight end, with Trevon Wesco playing more of a fullback role and Chris Herndon in a fight to make the roster. Kroft caught those two touchdowns from Wilson and both were impressive. On the first, he took a big hit at the 1, stayed on his feet and was able to walk into the end zone. On the second, he got open between levels of the defense, putting him in perfect position to make the catch and score.

  • The Jets’ defense was … well, it wasn’t good. They offered little resistance to a Packers offense filled with third and fourth stringers. In the first half they gave up 181 yards, 78 on the ground. Packers quarterback Kurt Benkert, who is fighting for the third-string job, went 12 of 16 for 103 yards and a touchdown. A lot of the Jets’ starting defense was in for most of the first half, too.

  • The first look at the Jets since Carl Lawson’s injury seemed to indicate that Robert Saleh will use a heavy rotation at defensive end – which honestly was likely to happen anyway. Bryce Huff, the guy they really hope can step up and provide some outside pass rush, didn’t do much in this game, except for one big rush on a third down when the Packers mistakenly left him unblocked.

  • It was a very rough day for the Jets’ young secondary. Rookie Isaiah Dunn seemed to really struggle in one-on-one coverage, getting turned around the wrong way too frequently. Bless Austin didn’t play, and it wasn’t immediately clear why. That left rookies Dunn and Michael Carter II to start with second-year pro Bryce Hall.

  • A bright spot for that young secondary: CB Brandin Echols, the Jets’ sixth-round pick, made a nice diving interception late in the third quarter, though that was long after the starting defense came out.

  • As if the Jets haven’t had a brutal enough week in Green Bay, losing Lawson (Achilles) and S Zane Lewis (knee) for the season, and suffering injuries to DT Sheldon Rankins (knee) and WR Denzel Mims (hip), they also had LB Jarrad Davis (ankle) and OT Connor McGovern (knee) carted off the field on Saturday. Backup QB Mike White also left the game after taking a huge hit to his ribs.

  • Some good news for the Jets: The offensive line, with George Fant in for Morgan Moses at RT and Dan Feeney in at LG for Alijah Vera-Tucker, really protected Wilson well. He didn’t appear to be under any pressure at all. Of course, again, this was against mostly the Packers’ second- and third-team defense. During practice against the first-team defense during the week, the Jets’ line struggled.

  • Kicker Matt Ammendola is doing his best to convince the Jets to keep him instead of scouring the waiver wire for kicking help after roster cuts are made. He was 3 for 3 on field goals, including a 54-yarder in the first half and a 46-yarder that just got inside the left upright in the second half.

  • Corey Ballentine had a 73-yard kickoff return for the Jets that set up their second touchdown. He has been very impressive on returns this summer and could make the roster just because of that. He hasn’t been nearly as good on defense, though.

  • If this summer is any indication, Ty Johnson (6 carries, 22 yards) is going to be more a part of the offense than anyone thought. He split first-team time with starter Tevin Coleman (4-19) after getting most of the first-team time against the Giants last week when Coleman was out. The next back in was rookie Michael Carter, followed by La’Mical Perine. Heading into this summer it sure looked like Johnson would’ve been the fourth back, not second or first.