The New York Jets’ entire season took a major detour just four snaps into Aaron Rodgers’ tenure with the franchise after a potentially serious injury to the veteran passer — but as the saying goes, the show must go on.
After Rodgers left the game, the Green & White managed a gritty and inspired victory over the Buffalo Bills, led by the NYJ defense, rookie returner Xavier Gipson and backup quarterback Zach Wilson among others. As the overtime thriller ended 22-16 Jets, Hall of Famer Joe Namath messaged Wilson and the rest of the team publicly on X (formerly Twitter).
“Phew! What a night,” Namath voiced. “Congratulations on a big win against a top notch team! Zach, ya done well!”
The NYJ legend also added that “it was a solid team effort on both sides of the ball… And like the rest of Jets Nation I’m hoping for a speedy recovery for Aaron.”
Jets’ Zach Wilson Focused on Getting Better ‘One Play at a Time’
After the win, Wilson addressed the media, stating that his mentality is “one play at a time.”
“I just gotta keep getting better,” the former first-round selection noted later. “Trust my coaches, trust the guys around me, rely on this defense that we have and progressively, just rely on everything that I feel like we’ve done throughout training camp and preseason as well, and just do my best to keep improving as a player.”
When asked, Wilson also told reporters that he feels “a lot more prepared” after learning from Rodgers and this new coaching staff all summer. “The hardest part is now putting it into a game,” he admitted. “I gotta be able to do that so going into this week, it’s applying everything that [Rodgers has] kind of helped walk us through, and being able to watch him and the coaches… I gotta be able to handle [the offense] efficiently.”
In the end, the youngster seemed to stay level-headed after the win. “It’s a long season, like I said,” Wilson voiced. “Can’t get too high, can’t get too low. It’s gotta just be one week at a time.”
Jets QB Zach Wilson Credits Defense, Garrett Wilson & Xavier Gipson After Beating Bills
Wilson spread the credit around after the victory, taking very little — if any — for himself.
“I think our defense did an amazing job of getting turnovers,” Wilson acknowledged during the Q&A, adding: “But we need to be able to capitalize on those more. We should be able to put more points up when they have four turnovers.”
“Unbelievable” was the word the quarterback used to describe Gipson’s walk-off touchdown. “It was bound to happen at some point this year, I didn’t know it was going to be right then for Xay [Gipson] but that dude is an unbelievable player and he’s got a great feel with the ball in his hands.”
Wilson relayed that he’s “so happy” for the undrafted rookie.
As for Garrett Wilson, Zach touted his “unbelievable ball skills,” admitting that the touchdown was a run-pass option that turned into a trust throw for the second-year wide receiver.
“Wasn’t the best throw,” the signal-caller told reporters, but “[Garrett] always finds a way to come down with it.” Zach Wilson concluded that the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year is “somebody I just gotta keep leaning on” throughout the year.
It would appear the third-year QB has already grown under the tutelage of Rodgers and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett this spring and summer.