It’s been a rough couple of days for New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson.
The former No. 2 draft pick failed to get anything going during the Jets’ 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday as he completed nine of 22 passes for just 77 yards. And in the days that followed, Wilson was slammed for saying he and the Jets’ offense didn’t let down defense.
To make matters worse for Wilson, a report has surfaced that Justin Fields did exactly what Wilson didn’t do after the Bears lost to the Falcons on Sunday, prompting a fresh wave of criticism for Wilson.
NBC Sports’ Albert Breer reported Tuesday that Fields apologized in the Bears locker room after the team’s 27-24 loss.
Breer said Fields’ apology “came a long way” with his teammates. While Fields threw a costly interception in the fourth quarter that set up the Falcons’ game-winning field goal, he also accounted for 238 of the team’s 288 total yards and scored two touchdowns during the game. He also played through a dislocated left shoulder for part of the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, reports have surfaced from New York that the Jets’ defensive end isn’t exactly thrilled with their quarterback.
The contrast between the two sophomore quarterbacks’ handling of their respective losses has become the topic of the day on NFL Twitter.
“Justin Fields plays injured and takes responsibility even when he doesn’t have to,” one fan wrote. “Take notes Zach Wilson.”
“Justin Fields is doing something Zach Wilson can’t and that’s holding himself accountable while Zach Wilson doesn’t hold himself accountable,” said another.
The matter has even escalated into a referendum on where Fields and Wilson were chosen to be part of the same drafting class.
As Chicago fans are painfully aware after watching their team select Mitchell Trubisky while Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson are still on the board, first-round quarterbacks of the same class are compared throughout their careers. But this time, it looks like the Bears got the better end of the deal as the Jets passed Fields, among others, to pick Wilson in 2021.
“Imagine drafting Zach Wilson before Justin Fields,” George Slater tweeted.
As luck would have it, the Jets and Bears play each other on Sunday.
However, the matchup may not offer Fields and Wilson an opportunity to settle the debate about them on the field.
Fields is listed as a tag due to his shoulder dislocation, but given the Bears’ 3-8 record, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they didn’t put him back on the field. Jets head coach Robert Saleh, meanwhile, has not guaranteed Wilson will keep his starting job.
Wilson could well put that narrative to bed and have everyone talking about how good he is with a bounce-back performance on Sunday. But it’s fair to ask how much the dressing room is behind him at this point.
Perhaps he should take a page from Field’s book, apologize for his comments and accept some blame for his play last week before getting back on the field.