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Zach Wilson, Tim Boyle & NFL Thoughts

Zach Wilson

This week, our NFL Thoughts examines recent trends. Declining quarterback and offensive line play, rising defensive back talent, and key player impact like Deshaun Watson, Trevor Lawrence, and Zach Wilson. Along with some Tim Boyle and upcoming game predictions.

  • There are cycles to the quality of play at each position. We are in a down cycle for quarterbacks and offensive lineman. The number of quality players at each of those spots in low, and it’s had a serious negative impact on the game. Complicating that is the fact that we are in a positive cycle for defensive backs. Throwing the ball with consistency has been challenging for many teams thus far.
  • The injury to DeShawn Watson will not hurt the Browns as much as people think. Watson was playing at an average level at best. His passer rating of 84.3 puts him at 21st in the league. He hadn’t yet got back to where he was before the suspension, and he may never get there. Cleveland’s defense is a force, and their running game will keep them in contention the rest of the way.
  • Trevor Lawrence now stands alone as the only first-round quarterback of the 2021 draft not to be benched for at least a short span for poor play. Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones have all struggled since coming into the league. The 2021 first-round quarterbacks may stand alone as the biggest collective group of draft busts. There is hope that Justin Fields may develop into a quality starter, but the ship has sailed on the others.
  • Russell Wilson is very quietly having a good year. Wilson is third in passer rating. He also has thrown the fewest interceptions (4) among starting quarterbacks who have played a significant amount of time. After historically poor showings, the Denver defense is most responsible for the turnaround for the Broncos. The unit has allowed just over 17 points per game since week five.
  • Brandon Staley is firmly on the hot seat in Los Angeles. Staley is 23-21 with the Chargers and can’t seem to get the team over the hump despite having one of the best quarterbacks and some of the best talent in the league. I expect a change once the Chargers are officially eliminated from playoff contention.
  • The benching of Zach Wilson was overdue. Wilson did get much help from the Jets woeful offensive line, but he had enough opportunity to show some progress and did nothing with it. Tim Boyle isn’t going to set the world on fire, but he is quick to make decisions and will throw the ball away. Wilson’s frustrating inability to read defenses and hold the ball until the pass rush closed in was infuriating. I don’t think Boyle will hold the job the rest of the way. We will see Trevor Siemian sooner rather than later.
  • Breece Hall had just 13 rushes against the Raiders. He rushed just 10 times against Buffalo. The Jets made an effort to get him the ball in the passing game, but his underutilization is one of the most significant reasons the Jets are out of playoff contention.
  • The lopsided win against the Jets will only mask Buffalo’s deficiencies for the short term. They will come back in glaring fashion this week and next as the Bills travel to Philadelphia and Kansas City.
  • The Chiefs don’t play another winning team the rest of the season. The loss to Philadelphia will be a major motivation for the Chiefs down the stretch. They will run the table to go 14-3, and the playoffs will once again run through Kansas City.
  • The Jets have a puncher’s chance of upsetting the Dolphins this week. I don’t see the Dolphins being especially motivated in their preparation given the Jet’s struggles of late. Miami is also banged up at the skill positions. The Jets will have a little time to modify the game plan for Tim Boyle. I am hopeful that means a big dose of Breece Hall. The Jets are also one of the few teams with the ability to produce pressure on the quarterback without blitzing and a secondary capable of slowing the Dolphin’s passing game. In any event, the Jets +10 is very attractive.
  • I was glad to see Israel Abanikanda get on the field and get a few touches. Abanikanda is certainly capable of at least matching what Dalvin Cook is giving the team. Let’s see what Abanikanda can do with an increased role the rest of the way. I was very happy when the Jets nabbed Dalvin Cook in the offseason, but it hasn’t worked out.
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Nick Ferraro

This Article Was Written By Nick Ferraro

Nick Ferraro


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