Former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson received a lot of praise from fans, the media and even Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes after a steller performance against the defending champs Sunday night.
The Jets came in on a two-game losing streak and an offense that was struggling to move the ball and get points. With fans and the media restless — including former New York Jets legend Joe Namath even calling out Wilson — the former No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft responded by playing arguably his best game of his career as Wilson finished the contest completing 28-of-39 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball twice for 14 yards and finished with a pass rating of 105.2.
Meanwhile, Mahomes completed just 18-of-30 passes for 203 yards to go with a touchdown and two interceptions. He finished with a passing rating of just 63.6. Mahomes should have had at least another interception on the night, but between a drop and an interception that was called back for defensive holding late in the fourth cost the Jets the game.
After the contest, Wilson and Mahomes gave a each other a handshake, a hug and spoke briefly. Mahomes, last year’s MVP, told Wilson to “play like that all year.”
In addition, Mahomes gave Wilson some more praise during the postgame interview:
“He (Zach) played his tail off, he battled. We have a good defense and he made a lot of big time throws into the windows and down the field. I’ve watched him since his BYU days so I was proud of him to go out there and show out. But luckily, we got the win in the end.”
Kansas City defensive tackle and Pro-bowler Chris Jones also went to bat for Wilson saying:
“We knew it was going to be a battle, as he (Zach) is continuing to get better week in and week out, and to lead week in and week out. … Zach Wilson is special. You just got to give the guy time.”
Here’s how fans and the media reacted to Wilson’s performance:
Mahomes to Wilson…
“Play like that all year”
— Justin Giles (@JustinGiles_) October 2, 2023
Zach Wilson of the @nyjets is the only opposing QB to have more completions, more passing yards, more TD passes and fewer interceptions than Patrick Mahomes in a Mahomes start, college or pro (out of 127 total starts, including postseason).
— OptaSTATS (@OptaSTATS) October 2, 2023
Pat Mahomes giving Zach Wilson some love.
He states that he was a fan of Zach Wilson during his BYU days. pic.twitter.com/OgbpNXb3nH
— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) October 2, 2023
Jones is a class act; Harrison is not
— Paul Reynolds (@PaulReynolds69) October 2, 2023
Hey @danorlovsky7 I think the jets heard you this week 👀👀👀
— Kyle Van Noy (@KVN_03) October 2, 2023
#Jets players coming to the support of Zach Wilson
He played a hell of a game.
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) October 2, 2023
Didn't have lebron giving zach wilson some love on my bingo card today. pic.twitter.com/w4atjWCgII
— Prison Barles (@Hookemcougs) October 2, 2023
Fumble was costly but Zach still played a HELLUVA game. Too many drops and the refs lost this game. pic.twitter.com/wr15RB9Qzf
— Steven (@m4gbit) October 2, 2023
"If he plays like that, we're gonna win a lot of football games."
Coach Saleh on QB Zach Wilson pic.twitter.com/idoxH4Qz1e
— New York Jets (@nyjets) October 2, 2023
This Zach Wilson can take the #Jets to the playoffs.
Have never seen him play like this before. If this is sign of things to come, Jets were right, he’s turned a corner & that’s massive for this team.
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) October 2, 2023
There are Taylor Swift fans watching their first NFL game who must think Zach Wilson is clearly better than Mahomes
— Tony Starks 🦉 (@portman7387) October 2, 2023
Taylor Swift came with Travis Kelce, but will be leaving with Zach Wilson.
He’s looking solid…
— Hans Olsen (@975Hans) October 2, 2023
“Imagine how much we’d be winning by if we had that Zach Wilson guy” pic.twitter.com/XW6ESOv34l
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) October 2, 2023
Tell me Wilson didn’t resemble Rodgers on that drive, like AR was talking to him in his helmet?!
— Vince Strang III (@CalWR85) October 2, 2023
Zach Wilson throwing straight-up darts into tight coverages to start the 2nd half. Looks as comfortable as I've seen him since college. Very fun watching this
— Brandon Gurney (@BrandonCGurney) October 2, 2023
Ok. Zach Wilson is actually dealing right now.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 2, 2023
Zach Wilson to Joe Namath and the haters… pic.twitter.com/3v2GVCEPHB
— Justin Giles (@JustinGiles_) October 2, 2023
Remember when Zach Wilson saw Taylor Swift and turned into 1968 Joe Namath😭😭
— Teg🚨 (@IQfor3) October 2, 2023
There are no moral victories in pro sports. But, also, yes there are. #Jets played the champs dead even. Zach Wilson, with his career on the line, played the game of his life. It’s a tough loss, but it’s a step in the right direction.
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) October 2, 2023
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 2, 2023
This Zach Wilson throw was legit stellar. pic.twitter.com/nMaIvzfQeJ
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) October 2, 2023
THE ZACH WILSON WE WERE PROMISED HAS ARRIVED
— Florian Wirtz Enjoyer/Gene Chizik Hater (@xab1ball) October 2, 2023
Smile if you got outplayed by Zach Wilson and needed a ref bailout to win pic.twitter.com/W6fgXblczn
— Markelle 🇭🇹 (@IcyLindorSznn) October 2, 2023
Zach is DEALING!!!
— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) October 2, 2023
He's literally, thoroughly outplayed the MVP. Amazing drive!
— Amulya Shekhar (@tweet_amulya) October 2, 2023
— Dave McCann (@DaveMcCannTV) October 2, 2023