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3 Jets takeaways from Zach Wilson’s first NFL win in overtime over Titans

Jets, Zach Wilson

Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson opened his career with the New York Jets with three straight losses this 2021 season. The team looked particularly lost offensively through its first three games, scoring just 20 total points and six since a 19-14 defeat to the Carolina Panthers in Week 1.

On Sunday, New York finally got its first win of the season with a 27-24 overtime victory over the Tennessee Titans. Wilson threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Jets to a game-winning field goal in overtime.

The New York defense struggled a bit Sunday, giving up 430 yards of total offense to Tennessee. Derrick Henry ran for 157 yards on 33 carries, while Ryan Tannehill also had a good day with 298 passing yards and a touchdown. However, the Jets did limit the Titans to three field goals in the first half, holding their ground in the red zone and keeping them in the game while the offense was struggling.

With that said, here are three takeaways from a Week 4 Jets win.

3. Robert Saleh has the defense headed in the right direction

Despite losing Carl Lawson for the season in training camp and other starters being out of late, the Jets have a scrappy defense so far under Robert Saleh.

The Jets ranked 12th in yards allowed and 15th in points allowed, but the offense has contributed to their fair share of those points with turnovers and an inability to maintain drives to give the defense time on the sideline. If Wilson and the New York offense can continue to improve, it should only help the defense be even better as the season goes on.

While wins may be hard to come by, the Jets could continue to cover spreads with tough defensive play and big play potential from Wilson.

2. The Jets still can’t run the ball

New York ranks 29th in the NFL in rushing yards, averaging just 3.6 yards per carry through Week 4. This is far less than ideal; it would be optimal for the Jets to have success in the run game to take pressure off Wilson.

The opposite is happening. Throwing is the Jets’ only chance at moving the ball at this point. This is a recipe for failure in the long run with a rookie quarterback who is going to make his fair share of mistakes. New York is going to be in some wild games this season, and it will probably lose most of them.

1. Reasons for optimism with Zach Wilson

Wilson looked like a legitimate NFL quarterback in the second half on Sunday. After combining for six interceptions in the previous two games, that has to be encouraging for the Jets faithful.

Such a positive takeaway probably won’t come easily and as frequently this season, but Sunday was evidence of clear growth from Wilson. In what was always likely going to be a rebuilding campaign, such developments are what the Jets need to build on.

If there’s some way the Jets could be able to run the football a little bit, they might be a legitimately scrappy team down the stretch this 2021. It’s not always going to pretty with a rookie quarterback, but Wilson showed plenty of promise in the win over the Titans.