The New York Jets made a surprising move ahead of Week 12, benching struggling quarterback Zach Wilson and promoting backup quarterback Tim Boyle as the starter. The Jets will host the Miami Dolphins in the NFL’s first Black Friday game on the day after Thanksgiving.
Wilson, who initially began the season as a backup quarterback, was thrust into the starting role after future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with a torn Achilles against the Buffalo Bills. Since then, Wilson managed a 3-6 record as a starter this season after leading the Jets to victory in Week 1.
Despite the disappointment, the Jets opted to stick with Wilson as their starter instead of pursuing a new quarterback through a trade or free agency. The team had considered acquiring Josh Dobbs ahead of the trade deadline, but the Cardinals ended up trading Dobbs to the Vikings after Kirk Cousins suffered an injury.
Trevor Siemian will serve as the backup quarterback behind Boyle in Week 12, while Wilson has been demoted to third-string as the emergency quarterback.
The decision to bench Wilson comes after a series of underwhelming performances, which saw the Jets drop three consecutive games and struggle to score points against opposition. Consequently, head coach Robert Saleh decided to give Boyle a chance to take the helm as the starting quarterback.
With a disappointing 59.2% completion rate and only six touchdowns this season, Wilson struggled to make an impact. The Jets averaged just 15.0 points per game, ranking third-lowest in the NFL.
Boyle, who has a 0-3 record as a starter in the NFL, showcased his confidence and decisiveness in the huddle during his limited action against the Bills. The Jets hope that his ability to make quick decisions will benefit the team’s offense, particularly given their struggles on the offensive line.
In terms of betting odds, the Jets are listed as a +10 home underdog against the Dolphins in their upcoming Black Friday game. The Dolphins, who hold a 7-3 record, are favored to win the AFC East at -650 odds. On the other hand, the Jets have seen their odds plummet after their recent losing streak, with a 1% chance to qualify for the postseason according to the latest playoff projection by Upshot.