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Jets bench QB Zach Wilson for Tim Boyle as offense flounders vs. Bills


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The New York Jets benched starting quarterback Zach Wilson in favor of Tim Boyle in the third quarter of Sunday’s 32-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Boyle came in with 2:16 remaining in the third quarter with the Jets trailing 29-6. The 29-year-old is in his fifth year in the NFL and has appeared in 17 games (three starts).
  • Wilson was 7-of-15 passing for 81 yards with one touchdown and one interception at the time of his benching. He had a 57.9 passer rating.
  • The No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft is 3-5 this season with five touchdowns and six interceptions since replacing future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers in the opening game of the season. He is 11-19 with 20 touchdowns and 24 interceptions over 31 career games.
  • The Bills had 393 yards of total offense in their first game since firing offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. Quarterback Josh Allen finished 20-of-32 passing for 275 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

How surprising was this?

It felt inevitable. Once Wilson threw a brutal first-half interception as the Jets offense floundered once again, it seemed like the coaching staff was on a crash course toward finally benching the former No. 2 pick, like they did multiple times last year, and that’s exactly what happened. Maybe it was too late — but it was necessary all the same. — Zack Rosenblatt, Jets beat writer

What to expect from Boyle

When the Jets benched Wilson last year, they did it with hopes Mike White would give the offense a spark. And that’s what he did … before injuring his ribs against the Bills in Buffalo.

The Jets are hoping for something similar from Boyle, who doesn’t exactly have a successful track record (three touchdowns, eight interceptions in 17 games) but he has the trust of both offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and Rodgers from their time together in Green Bay. Like White before him, Boyle is well liked in the Jets locker room — so it will be interesting to see if Jets coach Robert Saleh rolls with him as a starter next week against the Dolphins— Rosenblatt

Nothing worked for Jets vs. Bills

The Jets had a players-only meeting this week. Saleh spoke of personnel and schematic changes to help jumpstart one of the league’s worst offenses. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett moved from the sideline to the booth to call plays.

None of it worked.

The Jets offense remains an abject disaster — and it somehow looked even worse than it had at any other point this season on Sunday. By the time Wilson was benched they were already losing 29-6 and it didn’t matter much — and Boyle didn’t exactly impress filling in for him. The Jets did score an offensive touchdown on Sunday on a nine-yard pass from Wilson to Breece Hall. But it didn’t really matter. That was the only touchdown drive the Jets have had that lasted longer than one play since Oct. 1. It was the only offensive touchdown they’ve scored in 15 quarters.

As an offense, they’re scoring just 13.2 points per game, most of them on field goals, and on Sunday they never even got in position to let kicker Greg Zuerlein attempt any field goals.

The Jets defense finally had a bad game but it’s hard to blame them. For nine weeks, they played as one of the top 10 defenses in the NFL, keeping the Jets in every game even as the offense floundered. Eventually, they were going to have a bad game, and even if they had dominated on Sunday, it wouldn’t have mattered with how the Jets are playing on offense.

Now the question turns to next week: Will Wilson be permanently benched for Boyle? Will Rodgers actually consider coming back to a team that might not win another game before he’s ready? Will Saleh make a change at play-caller from Hackett? Whether it’s a small change or a big one, it seems this Jets offense has a lot more problems than anyone realized when Rodgers tore his Achilles in Week 1. — Rosenblatt

Bills’ offense came alive vs. Jets

The Bills got back in their offensive rhythm, flashing both drive consistency and the big play during their thorough defeat of the hapless Jets. It’s a defensive matchup that Allen and the Bills have struggled over the last two seasons but the offense converted six of their first eight drives into points, and when faced against one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the league in Wilson, there wasn’t much doubt that the Bills would come away victorious.

For the Bills, the offensive output had to be a huge relief given their struggles over the last six games that ultimately led to the firing of Dorsey. While the Bills could still capitalize on some more drives with touchdowns, it’s tough to criticize their offensive showing to score 32 points against one of the best defenses in the league. — Joe Buscaglia, Bills beat writer

Where this leaves Buffalo in the postseason hunt

The Bills collected a much-needed victory to keep their overall record above .500, including a critical AFC win for tiebreaker purposes. As some teams around them in the standings, like the BengalsChargersRaiders, and Steelers all losing, the Bills improved their overall postseason outlook with six games remaining. On top of that, they stayed within one game of the AFC East-leading Miami Dolphins, and still own the head-to-head tiebreaker with them outright if they’re able to pull even. However, the Bills still have a tough schedule ahead over their next three, with two straight road games against the Eagles and Chiefs, with a home game against the Cowboys in Week 15. The Bills are going to be in battle mode for the remainder of the year to sneak into the postseason, but this win over the Jets was an encouraging start. — Buscaglia

Bills win despite key injuries

The Jets didn’t stand a chance. Even with the Bills’ offense struggling early to find traction and exploit an average first-half drive start at their 41-yard line, they enjoyed a desperately needed three-phase victory.

The problem, however, is that Buffalo’s defensive backfield suffered three potentially bleak injuries before halftime: cornerback Dane Jackson (concussion), nickelback Taron Johnson (concussion) and safety Taylor Rapp (neck). None returned. Rapp was strapped to a backboard and driven away in an ambulance.

Buffalo already was missing cornerbacks Tre’Davious White and Kaiir Elam, the 2022 first-round pick who was having trouble getting a uniform on game days anyway, in addition to All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones.

All things considered, the Bills fielded a respectable secondary in the second half. Top safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde were joined by cornerback Christian Benford (an opening-night starter), trade-deadline acquisition Rasul Douglas and fourth-year pro Cam Lewis. But now the Bills will need to lean on their inactives and practice squad guys, or GM Brandon Beane must comb the waiver wire.

While ragdolling Wilson and Boyle is amusing, the quarterbacks waiting ahead include Jalen HurtsPatrick MahomesDak PrescottJustin Herbert, whatever carcass the Patriots throw out there and Tua Tagovailoa— Tim Graham, Buffalo

“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

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