The New York Jets have struggled early in the 2021 NFL season. Under first-year head coach Robert Saleh, many expected a culture change. One thing that has remained constant, though, is losing. The winless Jets are desperate for some hope, but their success depends on the development of Zach Wilson.
Entering a Week 4 matchup against the Tennessee Titans, the rookie quarterback needs his favorite target to rise to the occasion against his former team.
Corey Davis played four seasons with the Titans
The draft class featured several talented wide receivers, including Chris Godwin, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Kenny Golladay. However, Davis was the first off the board.
The Chicago, Illinois native never really lived up to his top-5 pick tag while in Tennessee. The Titans are a run-first team led by Derrick Henry.
Davis enjoyed his best statistical season in 2020. He recorded 65 receptions for 984 yards and five touchdowns. After posting career-high numbers in receiving yards and touchdowns, Davis finally showed flashes of the receiver he could be come.
The Titans decided not to re-sign Davis after the 2020 season, leaving the 26-year-old to test free agency. The wideout says Tennessee never showed any interest in bringing him back.
When asked if he was bothered by that, Davis responded, saying, “A little bit. I’m not going to lie to you.”
Zach Wilson and Davis have built rapport in New York Jets offense
The New York Jets entered the 2021 season with high expectations for Zach Wilson and the offense. The front office moved on from Sam Darnold in favor of Wilson, who they drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
In the offseason, the Jets brought in Corey Davis, inking him to a three-year $37.5 million deal. With this move, Wilson now had a veteran receiver capable of making plays in the right situation.
The tandem built a strong connection in training camp and the preseason, per Jets Wire. The chemistry trickled into the first game of the regular season. Davis caught five passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns in a season-opening loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Wilson targeted the fifth-year wideout seven times, which tied Braxton Berrios. However, Davis’ two scores proved why he is the preferred target.
“He’s a great player,” Wilson said of Davis in a press conference. “I just have a lot of trust in him, and all his one-on-one routes that he’s gonna get open.”
Corey Davis needs to return to Week 1 form to help Zach Wilson’s confidence
Zach Wilson and Corey Davis were on fire in Week 1, but they have fizzled over the past two weeks. Davis recorded seven receptions for 49 yards and no touchdowns in the last two games combined.
The New England Patriots completely took the veteran receiver out of the game. Davis’ recent dip in production appears to have a direct correlation with Wilson’s lackluster play.
The former BYU signal-caller is getting his welcome to the NFL moment every week, it seems. Wilson has thrown six interceptions over the past two weeks while not throwing any touchdowns. He’s also completed just under 56% of his passes and been sacked nine times during that span.
Whether he’ll admit it or not, the rookie quarterback’s confidence is probably the lowest it’s ever been since he entered the NFL. The New York Jets need him to play better, but they also need to put him in a position to succeed.
The Jets are missing their top offensive lineman, Mekhi Becton, so more sacks are on the horizon. Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur needs to draw up plays for Davis and Elijah Moore, the team’s two most talent receiving options.
Corey Davis is the team’s most established weapon, so Zach Wilson must lean on him against a beatable Titans secondary.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference