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Zach Wilson - "Different QB the 2nd Half of the Year"


Warfish
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This year wasn’t about wins or good-looking stats. It was about reps.

in the first half, he wasn’t passing the “eye test”

Maybe the injury was a blessing. It made him observe how pro QBs prepare for a game. Getting Flacco in the QB room has been mentioned as a big help to Zach’s development. Saleh even mentioned it at yesterday’s presser.

The game seemed to slow down somewhat in the second half.

he showed more poise and willingness to stay in the pocket, then either throw or run in the second half.

he cut down on many ill-advised  throws in the second half.

he seemed to read defences much better in the second half.

he even seemed to improve on the little things like cadence in the second half.

all-out blitzes still gave him lots of trouble however  ( hence lots more sacks). He needs to improve in throwing to the hot routes when teams blitz aggressively. Again, an argument can be made that without good receivers unable to establish “separation” , blitzing works.

keep him upright next year with a better Oline and I think he’ll only get better.

but hey , what do I know.

 lol.

 

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5 hours ago, Hex said:

If you remove the stats from the Bills game how much does that change his stats?

If you’re going to remove the worst then you kinda have to remove the best. I think one of the hardest things about evaluating stats is that stats need a sort of balancing out before you can judge them. There are too many variables.

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To my eye, there was little difference pre Mike White and post Joe Flacco save for a bit better ball handling..I think we will see more of the same next year, certainly not a dramatic improvement as some are saying...I'm concerned with his lack of touch on the ball, there's far too much zip and velocity on short passes that should be eased into the receiver rather than bullets that unnecessarily require too much effort to catch and break the receivers concentration and flow in the open field..the over throws and sailing of the ball well over receivers hands, there doesn't seem to be any arc on his throws, they appear to be one dimensional and not the throws of a skilled passer....have a look at how Josh Allen throws...although he has velocity he also hits guys in stride and places the ball where the receiver is in a good position to make positive yards after the catch rather than twisting and breaking stride as so many of ZW's balls require the receiver to do..he also appears undersized and too thin for the position..as quick as he is, he lacks the size and musculature to absorb hits in the long view of a career... 

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7 hours ago, HighPitch said:

So the resident wet towel worked on yet another “how can i ruin peoples day and argue with them to death” post. Nice sleuthing comrade....

In the second half of the season he showed great improvement by his decision making. That translated into a ridiculously low amount of ints and some great runs when needed. Your stats conveniently fails to disclose the rushing tds and the several clutch 3rd down conversions he made. Im sure it was an oversight🙈

This year made me rethink my value in stats vs the eye test. There were two late games where zach did a great job but i was shocked when i read his digits. It was hard explaining to posters that didnt watch these games why zach was good.

So the eye test is a big deal especially on a team with no weapons

"So the eye test is a big deal especially on a team with no weapons"

EXACTLY.

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7 hours ago, HighPitch said:

So the resident wet towel worked on yet another “how can i ruin peoples day and argue with them to death” post. Nice sleuthing comrade....

In the second half of the season he showed great improvement by his decision making. That translated into a ridiculously low amount of ints and some great runs when needed. Your stats conveniently fails to disclose the rushing tds and the several clutch 3rd down conversions he made. Im sure it was an oversight🙈

This year made me rethink my value in stats vs the eye test. There were two late games where zach did a great job but i was shocked when i read his digits. It was hard explaining to posters that didnt watch these games why zach was good.

So the eye test is a big deal especially on a team with no weapons

The Tampa Bay game told a very impressive tale, you can even add in Bruce Arians who knows a little something about Offense and QB's who had some serious accolades for Wilson after the game.

What I saw, and it was All game long, a complete game you might say, basically his Only one of the year but it spoke volumes.

He was throwing pinpoint Rockets every time he let it go.  He seemed calm and in command throughout the game while facing one of the top D's in the league.  He had Tom Brady beaten for 59 minutes 45 seconds with Braxton Berrios as his #1 WR.

The big question is whether he can duplicate that game....CONSISTENTLY...going into 2022....I don't know, but I can dream.  All the raw talent that made him the #2 pick in the Nation showed up in that game.

In 2021 all I wanted to see was that talent show itself in his rookie year, not enough times, but it DID show up.

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2 hours ago, Snook said:

If you’re going to remove the worst then you kinda have to remove the best. I think one of the hardest things about evaluating stats is that stats need a sort of balancing out before you can judge them. There are too many variables.

yea. 9 of those 25 sacks were in one game, with a bad OL and I felt like his play couldn't be determined with that game. You're right, though. Removing his best game would have to be the way to go too.

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STATZ improves with WEAPONZ, separation and route running equal STATZ , STATZ happen with players…. Fantasy football, lol…. Now if he has those STATZ with players who don’t drop passes or get tackled where they stand , then yeh we have a problem… so STATZ will come, he clearly was more comfortable as the season went on, even with the half a line in front of him… STATZ will happen with players like Moore turning an 8 yard pass to a 20 yard gain, the running game was improving… he threw seeds where in the middle of the year he dirted short passes……STATZ baby…


Sooo stats don’t matter…. Wins don’t matter, making boneheaded decisions don’t matter…. Nope, he needs loads of stars…. Riiiiight.


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6 hours ago, Hal N of Provo said:

I saw it on Twitter.   I can’t find it.  It wasn’t blow you out of a chair “best QB ever,” stuff.   Something like on passes over 35 yards, 8th best accuracy and 7th on adjusted accuracy or something like that.  It was before the season ended and I can’t find any stats tracked that way on Google.  It was a screengrab from an advanced stats company.  
 

I had given up on the JN Zach wars at the time, or I’d have posted it lol.  

I think there is progress many ways and next year will be better, but I expect some ups and downs.  
 

Put another way, if the Zach from now played this schedule again I think the team wins a few more games.  This season was an investment. 
 

I’m guessing they are in the playoff hunt next year, but the team was garbage with all 2nd and 3rd stringers.  It’s going to be like BYU not Alabama - a few key injuries can  change the season outlook.  

I guess it’s hard to imagine next year we won’t be riddled with injuries all over again. What makes that change? 

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1 hour ago, Snell41 said:

 


Sooo stats don’t matter…. Wins don’t matter, making boneheaded decisions don’t matter…. Nope, he needs loads of stars…. Riiiiight.

You need to have some semblance of skilled players at the “skill” positions, who was he throwing to in Buffalo, you don’t need a team of all pros at the receiver or TE position, but I’ll take one above average one… who’d he have? Keelan cole? Lol, no TE… STATZ mean nothing YET,,, the interceptions were down… no line in front of him… boneheaded decisions? For a rookie he was getting better…now, next season if he he has the above, weaponz, and then still can’t get the STATZ, then yeh, I’ll worry too…
Sent from my iPhone using JetNation.com mobile 

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8 hours ago, Beerfish said:

The thing that doomed pretty well all of our last great hope qbs was bad turnovers.   The second half of the season was a really good start, he has to build on it.  He also needs more reliable help.

Agree with this 100%.

Early on Zach was losing us games single handed. They worked on stopping that after his return from injury - we see more caution, more throwaways, potentially a rise in sacks / running out of bounds rather than risking turnovers.

One down side to this is it also took away the "flash plays" that he made from time to time. The ones that got everyone excited. What tehy need to work on now is putting back in the "good Zach" that they lost without also bringing back the "bad Zach" that they worked hard to eliminate.

In short - he isn't losing us games anywhere near as much now. Next step is he has to start winning them for us. That is the 2022 challenge.

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15 hours ago, Hael said:

Hmm those advanced stats aren't flattering, you can find them here: 

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2021/passing_advanced.htm

His on target % is the worst in the NFL despite the drops.  That's particularly bad b/c its not like he's in an offense that throws a lot of deep balls like Seattle or TB.   

Other data set:

 

The PFF overall rating is bad as well, as are the number of turnover worthy plays vs what you might expect.. see here (top left is bad, bottom right is good):

https://twitter.com/Ihartitz/status/1480599957627363344/photo/1

 

PFF may not be 100% useless, but shouldn’t be taken as blind fact. Sometimes a bad pass isn’t a bad pass it’s on the receiver being in the wrong place or not turning his head. Not saying it’s the norm, but they wouldn’t know.

Consider: PFF had Conor McDermott ranked as an above average pass blocker for the year, almost exactly on par with George Fant. 

Regardless, the point isn’t whether Wilson was good on balance the whole year, which he quite obviously wasn’t; it’s whether there was improvement over his largely cringy start. Part of what gets in the way of rigid first half to second half breakdowns is the improvement doesn’t respect that demarcation line — wasn’t he throwing dumpoffs into the turf like he had the yips, still nominally in his second half of the season? Then as those cleaned up his target injuries really started to pile on, and honestly I’m going to need more convincing the Jets didn’t have a bottom-3 WRC this season anyway.

Anyway a lot of these short term stats without context are silly to argue, unless one wants to make the accompanying argument that QBing with multiple second and third string linemen, WRs, and TEs is the same as playing with good, consistent starters. In that case we don’t need to sign or draft anyone this year.

Wepponz don’t make bad QBs into good QBs. But the lack of any serious starters for multiple games, while the OL is simultaneously doing a poor job overall, can make effective QBs look ineffective in the short term, especially when they’re visibly unfinished products themselves.

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2 hours ago, jamesr said:

Agree with this 100%.

Early on Zach was losing us games single handed. They worked on stopping that after his return from injury - we see more caution, more throwaways, potentially a rise in sacks / running out of bounds rather than risking turnovers.

One down side to this is it also took away the "flash plays" that he made from time to time. The ones that got everyone excited. What tehy need to work on now is putting back in the "good Zach" that they lost without also bringing back the "bad Zach" that they worked hard to eliminate.

In short - he isn't losing us games anywhere near as much now. Next step is he has to start winning them for us. That is the 2022 challenge.

You’ll see quite a number of “flash plays” next year.....when he has more NFL quality talent at the skill positions added by Douglas.  Tom Brady would have trouble putting up 200 yards passing per game throwing to what was left of Wilson’s offensive unit toward the end of the year.  None could barely get half a yard of separation on their routes.

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the whole season was so topsy turvy that it's pretty hard to assess wilson.  it does look like he improved the way he played even if the stats  aren't there.  the main improvement was the reduction of turnovers.  that's huge   but the other part of this is the rest of the team played much better over the second half.  i suppose we could lay it on gvr being replaced by tardif but that is too simple.  the oline started to play better because they finally started executing as a team.  and wilson also had the benefit of reasonably good run game.  both carter and coleman were doing pretty well running the ball and they also did well when executing screens.  finally the wr's had a good stretch.  moore came on strong as did berrios. it's too bad they didn't have davis and mims just couldn't get his act together.

what do the jets have in wilson?  imo they have a qb that can be a good game manager.  but he also needs a good run game and receivers.  i suppose that can be said of any qb but once he gets some play options i think we'll see some off schedule plays that will win games.

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I have hope for next year ... i am not completely sold yet ... I want to see him in "attack mode" instead of the "oh sh*t don't make a mistake mode".

One thing is for sure .... Salah's team did not lift him up.

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9 hours ago, HighPitch said:

Heres another plus that needs to be mentioned: we all feared he was a girly man and would be clobbered into a coffin, but the lil dude its tough af

He is also more elusive and faster than he looks. He looks like he’s running to catch a cab in the rain holding a briefcase but honestly moves at a good clip, 

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10 minutes ago, JoeWillieWhiteShoesHOF said:

You’ll see quite a number of “flash plays” next year.....when he has more NFL quality talent at the skill positions added by Douglas.  Tom Brady would have trouble putting up 200 yards passing per game throwing to what was left of Wilson’s offensive unit toward the end of the year.  None could barely get half a yard of separation on their routes.

I'm hoping so. If he can start to make "chunk" plays - whether it's down to spectacular catches by the surrounding talent or laser accurate throws from Zach himself - this will go a long way to making us a respectable offense. We can expect a few more turnovers to creep back in as a result, it'll be the ratio that is important. If it's 2-3 great plays and 2-3 boneheaded INTs each game, we're back to where we were. If the INTs are few and far between you can live with that if he's more than making up for it with good throws elsewhere.

His pre injury stats were 4 TDs and 9 INTs. Post injury was 5 TDs and 2 INTs. If he kept that post injury ratio I think it'd be a good step forward, but it has to also increase in volume - 5 TDs in 7 games isn't what you want.

Let's say for arguments sake he has 20 TDs and 8 INTs in 2022 ... that would be progress and hint at better days ahead, but still not near the level of "star QB" that we all want him to be. 

 

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1 hour ago, jamesr said:

I'm hoping so. If he can start to make "chunk" plays - whether it's down to spectacular catches by the surrounding talent or laser accurate throws from Zach himself - this will go a long way to making us a respectable offense. We can expect a few more turnovers to creep back in as a result, it'll be the ratio that is important. If it's 2-3 great plays and 2-3 boneheaded INTs each game, we're back to where we were. If the INTs are few and far between you can live with that if he's more than making up for it with good throws elsewhere.

His pre injury stats were 4 TDs and 9 INTs. Post injury was 5 TDs and 2 INTs. If he kept that post injury ratio I think it'd be a good step forward, but it has to also increase in volume - 5 TDs in 7 games isn't what you want.

Let's say for arguments sake he has 20 TDs and 8 INTs in 2022 ... that would be progress and hint at better days ahead, but still not near the level of "star QB" that we all want him to be. 

 

I recently learned that there were 6 passes he threw that had tackles made at the opponents 1 yard line.  If those All go for TDs his stats look better.

But 2021 wasn’t about stats at all.  It was about him becoming acclimated and comfortable at the pro level.  You started to see that post injury.

Getting back to “stats”.  How many QBs in the league could roll up good looking stats with the talent level Wilson had around him much of the time?  That’s not to make excuses for him.  He played poorly and looked like his head was swimming for a good portion of the season coming out of the gate. But it looks like he has put much of that behind him.  The Tampa game proved that.  He still has much to learn.  Nothing is guaranteed, but with his intelligence level, I wouldn’t bet against him.  
 

All the physical attributes have already shown themselves at the pro level.   Chris Simms, unbelievably, was happy with his season when he was actually looking his worst.  He said that there were 20 throws he saw him hit at the pro level that proves to him that he will not just be good but be a Superstar, and this is when he was having trouble hitting short screens from out of the backfield.  He had no worry about that and said it will be easily corrected because it was never a problem in the past.  Looks like he was right about that. The Superstar part...yet to be determined, but the fact it can’t be ruled out, should make fans not be able to wait for 2022.

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5 hours ago, jamesr said:

Agree with this 100%.

Early on Zach was losing us games single handed. They worked on stopping that after his return from injury - we see more caution, more throwaways, potentially a rise in sacks / running out of bounds rather than risking turnovers.

One down side to this is it also took away the "flash plays" that he made from time to time. The ones that got everyone excited. What tehy need to work on now is putting back in the "good Zach" that they lost without also bringing back the "bad Zach" that they worked hard to eliminate.

In short - he isn't losing us games anywhere near as much now. Next step is he has to start winning them for us. That is the 2022 challenge.

He bought into the concept of lossing as a team.  This is the mark of every great NFL QB.

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I think the narrative is two fold on Wilson. 

1) Jets fans desperately don’t want him to be a bust so will hold on to anything 

2) He threw less interceptions which is big

BUT as you say it wasn’t like he became Joe burrow in the second half. He just protected the ball better. He still holds the ball to long and misses open guys. However recently he got better at hitting tighter windows. Bottom line, we still couldn’t win football games with either effort. 
 

Year 2 will be the year we figure out what we have in Zach. A franchise QB or Mitch Trubisky. No one knows yet. 

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10 minutes ago, JoeWillieWhiteShoesHOF said:

I recently learned that there were 6 passes he threw that had tackles made at the opponents 1 yard line.  If those All go for TDs his stats look better.

But 2021 wasn’t about stats at all.  It was about him becoming acclimated and comfortable at the pro level.  You started to see that post injury.

Getting back to “stats”.  How many QBs in the league could roll up good looking stats with the talent level Wilson had around him much of the time?  That’s not to make excuses for him.  He played poorly and looked like his head was swimming for a good portion of the season coming out of the gate. But it looks like he has put much of that behind him.  The Tampa game proved that.  He still has much to learn.  Nothing is guaranteed, but with his intelligence level, I wouldn’t bet against him.  
 

All the physical attributes have already shown themselves at the pro level.   Chris Simms, unbelievably, was happy with his season when he was actually looking his worst.  He said that there were 20 throws he saw him hit at the pro level that proves to him that he will not just be good but be a Superstar, and this is when he was having trouble hitting short screens from out of the backfield.  He had no worry about that and said it will be easily corrected because it was never a problem in the past.  Looks like he was right about that. The Superstar part...yet to be determined, but the fact it can’t be ruled out, should make fans not be able to wait for 2022.

I can think of at least two more that were incomplete but drew PI flags at / near the goal line (Atlanta, NE). And they were catchable balls rather than BS calls, I'm sure there have been others, and these never show up on any stats.

As I see it there are three elements in play for how the QB position develops in 2022 : Zach, surrounding talent, coaching. I've seen better from Zach in the latter part of the year to be on the optimistic side there. Coaching was initially a major worry but now feels like a real strength - I'm impressed with how Lafleur developed as the season went on. Surrounding talent is the only one we will see any real direction on in the next few months, and I'm very much hoping for improvements at both WR and TE in particular. So yes, I'm looking forward to 2022 ... and the journey we take between now and the start of the season. Just wish it wasn't so looooooong. :-)  

 

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