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Jets coach Robert Saleh says 'we haven't seen the last of' Zach Wilson despite Thursday night benching

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson was benched in favor of Chris Streveler near the end of the third quarter of New York's 19-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night.

It marked the latest disappointing chapter in the 2022 NFL Draft's No. 2 overall pick's two-season tenure for the Jets, whose playoff hopes were dealt a massive blow with their fourth consecutive loss. Head coach Robert Saleh said after the game it won't be Wilson's last chapter with New York, despite a woeful performance drenched in boos that even the evening's steady downpour could not wash away.

"We haven't seen the last of him. But right now he's just got to focus on finding ways to get better, and we've got to find ways to help him," said Saleh, who would not name a starter for his team's Week 17 game against the Seattle Seahawks. "It's not just him, it's collective, and we've all got to find ways to get better."

Wilson was making his second straight start after he was previously replaced by QB Mike White for three weeks after a disappointing 10-3 loss to the Patriots in Week 11. But unfortunately, the second-year QB struggled throughout parts of three quarters, going 9 for 18 for 92 yards passing and an interception before the Jets decided to bring in Streveler after a three-and-out led to the team's fifth punt of the night.

It was Streveler's first game action of the season after being elevated from the practice squad for Thursday's game, but he provided a spark for a stagnant offense. The former CFL quarterback went 10 for 15 for 90 yards, also contributing 54 yards on the ground. In just his first drive under center, New York collected four first downs and 83 yards, both more than the Jets had in the seven previous possessions with Wilson at the helm. None of Streveler's three drives ended in points, but his numbers nevertheless were significantly better than Wilson's even with less playing time.

When asked why he decided to make the QB change when he did, Saleh said it wasn't necessarily a reflection of Wilson's play, but more an attempt to kickstart the run game, which ended up working well enough to warrant keeping Streveler in and Wilson out.

"Obviously I know Zach was struggling, but Streveler came in, ran a couple of plays, sparked the offense, got the explosive play, and so it just snowballed in a good way, so we wanted to give him the opportunity to finish the drive," Saleh said. "By the time we got it back, again the same thing, we just said 'We're already here, let's just keep going with (Streveler).'"

Wilson said after the game that he fully understood the reasoning behind bringing in Streveler to get things moving, and knows that he has to "look myself in the mirror" and figure out what's not working and how he can fix it to give his team the best chance of succeeding.

"Right now the feeling is I just have to put my head down and just try and get better for these guys," Wilson said. "And that was kind of my message to them out there, was that I'm trying to give them everything I've got, and it's not good enough. I've got to put them in a better position."

Wilson was bombarded by boos from the Jets fans at every wrong turn on Thursday until he was pulled.

"I don't blame them, we have a passionate fanbase, and they're here to watch us score touchdowns, and we're not scoring touchdowns," Wilson said. "We're not getting first downs, we're not moving the ball, and we obviously can't throw the ball, so of course they're going to be frustrated."

Streveler's appearance made him the fourth Jets quarterback to play this season, and underscored the uncertainty at the position between Wilson's struggles and White's ribs injury. With only two weeks left in the season and the Jets on edge of the playoff picture, sorting things out at quarterback will be crucial in this final push for the postseason.

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