Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has gotten quite the attention this offseason, but it has more to do with his play off the field than on the gridiron.
And while professional athletes often describe the playing field as their sanctuary, Wilson will have to answer questions about distractions if he fails to take the next step in his progression as an NFL quarterback.
In my AFC East preview, I couldn’t commit to more than a lean for the Jets to go over their projected win total of 5.5 games.
At the time, my objective was to evaluate the roster, but today, my focus will be on the quarterback position with the hopes of better assessing Wilson’s season-long yardage and touchdown props.
Also read: Jets 2022 betting preview
New customers only. Must be 21+. AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY only. Full T&C apply.
New users only, 21 or older. NY, CO, DC, IA, IN, IL, MI, NV, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV only. Full T&Cs apply.
21+. New customers only. NY, AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV only. T&C apply
New players only, 21+. NY, NJ, MI, AZ, VA only. In order to participate in this promotion, the player needs to make a first deposit (of at least $10). Full T&C apply.
21+. New customers only. AZ, CT, IA, IL, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, WV, WY only. T&C apply
New users only, 21 or older. Available in IA, AZ only. Full T&C apply.
Under 3500.5 Passing TDs (+112) (FanDuel) – 0.5 units
After throwing 2,334 yards, Wilson is getting quite a bump in his second season with a projection of 3,500.5 passing yards. Based on the 13 games he played last year, Wilson averaged 179.5 yards per game.
However, backup quarterback Mike White had a higher passing average with 238.3 yards per game.
What’s surprising is Wilson threw the ball down the field more than White. Per Pro-Football-Reference.com, Wilson averaged 7.6 intended air yards per pass attempt while White averaged 5.9.
Unfortunately, accuracy was a problem for Wilson. According to rbsdm.com, Wilson had the worst completion percentage over expectation (CPOE) margin for any quarterback with at least 200 snaps.
The Jets also often trailed in their games, so it should be no surprise they ranked third with a pass play rate of 63.32 percent.
While I know New York’s front office loved Wilson’s 73.5 percent completion rate in his final year at BYU, he did finish with a 65.9 percent and 62.4 percent completion rate in his previous two seasons.
Thus, I’m not sure whether his last year was more of a fluke, but we’ll know pretty quickly if his accuracy as an NFL-level quarterback improved during the offseason.
I must admit that I’m slightly concerned since I’m essentially fading the market with Wilson’s passing yards juiced to the over. However, I’ve got to see it with my own eyes first, so I’ll roll the dice and lay a half-unit on the under.
Betting on Sports?
Under 20.5 Touchdowns (-112) (FanDuel) – 1 unit
If I’m playing Wilson to go under his passing yardage, it’s only fair I also double down with an under on his touchdown prop. Wilson threw only nine touchdowns last season. Moreover, in the three games which the Jets won with him as the starter, he averaged one touchdown per contest.
If we expect New York to be a better team this year, I think the offense will be more balanced as the Jets look to further the development of their second-year quarterback.
Wilson’s accuracy inside the red zone will undoubtedly need to improve as he threw only one more touchdown than White (5) despite having 32 more pass attempts.
Jets fans will hope that Wilson follows in the footsteps of another young quarterback in the division. In Josh Allen’s second season with the Bills, he increased his completion rate from 52.8 percent to 58.8 percent. His passing yards also shot up from 2,074 to 3,089.
Lastly, his touchdown-to-interception ratio improved from 10-12 to 20-9.
However, the Jets are starting from a lower power rating given their four wins in Wilson’s rookie season, compared to six wins in Allen’s first year.
Wilson will also need to prove that he can stay on the field as his 6-foot-2 frame with 214 pounds is much slighter than Allen, who is listed at 6-foot-5 and 237.
I’m not rushing to put Wilson in Allen’s company just yet. So I can only look to the under in his touchdown prop.