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Jets coach Robert Saleh backs Zach Wilson after Patriots loss: 'He's our unquestioned quarterback'

The Jets' offensive woes persisted in Week 3, but New York shouldn't expect a quarterback change anytime soon.

Robert Saleh backed Zach Wilson as questions poured in Monday following the Jets' 15-10 defeat to the New England Patriots. The Jets head coach maintained his belief that Wilson gives his team the best chance to win and that the third-year QB was not to blame for Sunday's home loss.

"He's our unquestioned quarterback, guys," Saleh told reporters on Monday. "Like, as long as he continues to show the way his preparation, the way he's been practicing … and even in these games, guys, like, he's not the reason we lost yesterday. It's always a team effort. As long as continues to show improvement -- and I know it's not, from a box score standpoint, showing -- he's going to be our quarterback."

Wilson struggled to find any rhythm out of the gate on Sunday, leading an offense that converted just one first down within its first five possessions, all of which ended in punts. Greg Zuerlein's 53-yard field goal got New York on the board before halftime, but any adjustments made didn't fix an anemic offense that kept punter Thomas Morstead busy in the second half.

It wasn't until the fourth quarter that Wilson led a sustained possession that ended with a touchdown, which cut the Jets' deficit to three. The 13-play, 84-yard drive accounted for nearly half of the offense's total yards (171) and produced the majority of first downs gained (7 of 12) for the Jets on the day.

The Jets defense prevented the Patriots from scoring the rest of the way, but the offense didn't do its job to complete the comeback. Wilson was sacked in the end zone for a safety as he sat in the pocket trying to find a receiving option on third-and-15. Saleh's defense provided another opportunity for a game-winning drive by forcing a quick three-and-out, but three straight incompletions and a 2-yard dump off was all she wrote for New York on its final possession.

"One thing I'm gonna give him credit for is that he had a turnover-free game yesterday," Saleh said. "He had no turnover-worthy throws from my recollection. And because of that we were in position and had the ball at midfield with 1:40 to go and two timeouts to go win the game -- because we played a clean game of football on the offensive side of the ball and were able to win the field position battle in the second half. You can never be too boring, in my opinion, when you have the ball in your hands."

Wilson went 18-of-36 passing for 157 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Aside from his inability to consistently complete throws downfield, the 24-year-old's propensity to hold on to the ball too long often creates manic plays, some of which ending in sacks or fruitless throwaways. The Jets' ground game didn't help Wilson's cause on Sunday, providing just 38 yards off 22 carries (1.7 yards per carry), but Patriots defenders might've found it easier to key on running plays without a viable passing attack to worry about.

Of course, Wilson leading the way in 2023 wasn't in the plans for Saleh's Jets prior to Aaron Rodgers' season-ending Achilles injury in the season opener, but maintaining the status quo at QB isn't always the reality with a talented roster.

It won't get easier for the Wilson-led offense in Week 4, as the Jets host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. It remains to be seen if the Jets' defense can provide another opportunity for Wilson to get a win against the high-powered Chiefs, but if it once again does so in a losing effort, the questions for Saleh will likely persist, as well.

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