Zach Wilson was back, but you really didn’t expect much.
The rookie struggled before his injury, and he returned after being idle for four weeks due to his knee injury.
The Jets decided to put this all in his lap Sunday, as the Mike White experiment was shelved and he and Joe Flacco were in COVID protocol. Ageless and endless Josh Johnson was there just in case.
This win was going to be on the Jets’ defense against the saddled Texans, who proved in their 21-14 loss that they can’t get out of their own way with stupid penalties that gave the Jets plenty of second breathers.
Texans’ quarterback Tryrod Taylor, who burned the Jets in the past, couldn’t find his mark.
But this third Jets’ victory was about Wilson and his defense.
He and the unit proved they will be the benchmarks of this team the final six weeks.
Wilson battled through his awkward and slow start to show the tenacity the Jets always believed he had. He began to find his mark, and capped his day with the game-winning, four-yard scamper in the third quarter.
The messiah began to heal the Jets’ wounds even after he threw an interception that bounced off Ty Johnson’s back.
His 14-for-24, 145-yard performance wasn’t chart-topping, but Wilson showed he will be here for a while.
He battled through four sacks and flurries of hurries all afternoon on his knee that isn’t 100 percent, but he exhibited his grittiness to carry it through. His three-headed running game of Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson, and Austin Walter grinded out 176 total yards to help alleviate some pressure.
The Jets’ defense kept the Texans for 202 yards, and they gained their footing after a slow start.
John Franklin-Myers sparked the unit that recorded five sacks, and they managed to gold Brandin Cooks to three catches after his early touchdown looked like he was ready for a big afternoon.
The troubled Jet’s secondary played better as the game progressed, and Bryce Hall continued to show why he is the anchor of the unit, especially with a late breakup on the Texans’ last drive in the final minute.
It’s hard to say that this may have been Wilson’s and the defense’s epiphany because Houston is a bad team.
Wilson will need to tow the line against the Eagles, Saints, Dolphins and Jaguars over the next month.
He can only get better, and most of those games can work in his favor.
It wasn’t the prettiest win or the most productive day, but Wilson and the defense proved there is still plenty left to play for.