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If New York Jets fans had their way, backup quarterback Mike White would be starting the rest of the 2022 NFL season. However, after the Buffalo Bills folded him in half like a card table, the underwhelming Zach Wilson got his job back for the Jets’ Week 15 game vs. the Detroit Lions. He’s not the QB that Jets fans wanted, but he’s the one they had this week. Former Jets QB Boomer Esiason even gave the disappointing No. 2 overall pick a pep talk on the CBS pregame show. And Wilson actually responded, although his final shot at comeback glory came up short.

Boomer Esiason challenged Zach Wilson before the Jets’ Week 15 Lions game

Zach Wilson, Boomer Esiason, New York Jets, Jets Week 15, Detroit Lions
(L-R) Boomer Esiason, Zach Wilson | Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images; Al Bello/Getty Images

With Mike Wilson out and Joe Flacco basically done at age 37, New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh had no choice but to start Zach Wilson for the Jets’ Week 15 game vs. the Detroit Lions.

The Lions came in one of the hottest teams in the NFL, winning five of their last six games to salvage their season and make a late playoff push. That didn’t make for an easy first start back for Wilson after Saleh benched him following a 9-of-22 for 77-yard performance in Week 11.

This was the hand Wilson and the Jets were dealt, though, so they had to make the best of it.

On the CBS NFL Today pregame show, New York native and former Jets QB Boomer Esiason tried to buck up Wilson from afar before the game.

“Today is a second chance. And a second chance for a quarterback by the name of Zach Wilson for the New York Jets, going against the surging Detroit Lions,” Esiason said. “You know he has a 5-2 record as the starting quarterback. But the last time we saw him, he may have had one of the worst games of a quarterbacks’ day against the New England Patriots. So, this is a huge opportunity for him to show the Jets and their fan base that he can live up to that lofty draft status.”

Wilson surely wasn’t watching while warming up for the Jets’ Week 15 game vs. the Lions. But maybe he felt the encouragement from his fellow Gang Green signal-caller because Wilson played a solid game, and even though the Jets lost, it (mostly) wasn’t his fault.

The Jets fell short in their Week 15 comeback attempt vs. Lions

Zach Wilson looked like a No. 2 overall pick in the Jets’ Week 15 game vs. the Lions. He ended the game 18-of-35 for 317 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. The completion percentage could be a little higher, but overall, that stat line is enough to win most NFL games.

In fairness, too, the interception was tough. On a 1st-and-10 early in the third quarter, Wilson lofted a ball to a receiver streaking down the sideline. The only problem was the ball was way behind his wideout and fell right into the hands of the Lions defensive back.

The mistake led to a Lions field goal, which was ultimately the difference in the game.

After that, though, Wilson put his team in a position to at least tie the game. He made several incredible, scrambling throws of the final drive that set the Jets up for a 58-yard field goal that Greg Zuerlein missed.

Earlier in the drive, Wilson hit a deep pass to rookie Garrett Wilson for 22 yards to get them to the Lions’ 38. Instead of calling one of his three timeouts, Robert Saleh decided to let the clock run, losing over 20 seconds, and that hurt the Jets from a clock management standpoint.

Wilson made another incredible play with his last throw. He hit Elijah Moore for 20 yards to get within field goal range. With those extra 20 seconds, the Jets may have been able to get in better position and force OT.

Overall, though, it was a positive game from Zach Wilson, which should make Boomer Esiason proud.


Is Zach Wilson Mormon?