This week marked the anniversary of a seminal play in football history, one in which everyone remembers where they were the day it happened.
Ever since Mark Sanchez ran into an offensive lineman’s rear and fumbled the ball, the Jets’ quarterbacks have been the butt of the NFL.
The team hoped that by drafting Zach Wilson in 2021, it was past the dark ages of Jets quarterbacks. Instead, Wilson’s struggles are a reminder of the ineptitude of the Jets’ front office when finding a franchise QB.
Head coach Robert Saleh announced he was benching Wilson for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. He reiterated his belief in Wilson long-term but it’s difficult to imagine the Jets won’t try to upgrade the position in the offseason.
Based on their history, it might not do them much luck.
The Sanchez era began strong enough for the fifth overall draft pick (2009) as the team reached back-to-back AFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010. The butt fumble on Thanksgiving night in 2012 marked the beginning of the end of his career.
After that iconic play, the team drafted Geno Smith 39th overall in 2013. Two years later, he was infamously punched in the face by linebacker and teammate IK Enemkpali and lost his starting job as he recovered from a broken jaw.
The Sam Darnold era started bad…
…and got even worse when he had to call 1-800-555-2368 to get rid of ghosts.
The third-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft also gave us this all-time great ESPN graphic.
That leads us to Wilson. He hasn’t had any moments of unintentional comedy; it’s been one bleak performance after another. He’s “Exhibit A” in the “Wins are not a QB stat” debate. As the second overall pick of the 2021 draft, he’s the team’s highest-drafted QB since the Jets drafted Joe Namath first overall in 1965.
Saleh described the offensive production against New England last Sunday in less-than-glowing terms.
As Sunday’s performance turns into gerkonanaken, there was no other move Saleh could have made. In the past 10 years, Jets QBs have been more closely associated with butt fumbles, ghosts, and now dog feces. Wilson joins an ignominious club; one the Jets can’t disband soon enough.