Sequels have been a staple of movie and TV studios for a long time. Today the Jets look for some good ratings in their latest sequel with Zach Wilson as their starting quarterback in the Meadowlands rain.
Wilson, benched two games earlier, asked head coach Robert Saleh early in the past week to get the ball back and lead the offense against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium this afternoon. Saleh, who started Tim Boyle for two games and saw Trevor Siemian for a full quarter under center in last week's loss to Atlanta, ultimately agreed.
Zach's response to his return to starting status: "I'm going to have more fun than I've ever had, in a professional way. At the same time, there is a chip of just feeling like I need to prove something, this team needs to prove something, this offense needs to prove something.
"I think everyone wants to show that and I think the offense has that mindset. It doesn't matter where we are right now as a team but it all matters about how we finished and how we approach this next week. The same goes with me, too, making sure I handle it all the right way and, yes, having a chip on my shoulder but trying to enjoy it at the same time."
"Enjoy" could be a relative term for both teams today, with the weather forecast calling for steady rain, 20-mph winds and temperatures in the upper 50s throughout the game (kickoff 1:02 p.m. ET). This afternoon's conditions could well test which running game is better in soggy conditions, and whether Wilson, in his third NFL season, can bring his raingear skillset to the fore to get the better of hot and productive Houston rookie QB C.J. Stroud and the Texans' sixth-ranked offense and second-ranked passing game against the Jets' ninth-ranked defense and third-ranked pass defense.
See photos the Jets arriving for Week 14 vs. the Texans.
The fun will be in if the Jets can end their five-game losing streak and improve to 5-8. A little ancillary enjoyment could be gained from sending the Texans to 7-6 and throwing up a roadblock for their hoped-for path out of the AFC South and into the conference playoff grid.
In front of Wilson, the Jets, after Wes Schweitzer started vs. the Falcons, then went on IR with a calf injury, will start their eighth
right guard in the last eight games. Rookie Joe Tippmann, one of those RGs, is now holding down the center post.
Wilson will try to reestablish connections through the precipitation with team-leading receiver Garrett Wilson and get WR Allen Lazard back in the flow while also looking for productive gains on throws to TEs Tyler Conklin and Jeremy Ruckert and RBs Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook.
Rookie WR Jason Brownlee, who logged more than 100 offensive snaps the past three games, is inactive due to an ankle injury.
This is the Jets' seven-player inactive list:
- Emergency QB Brett Rypien
- WR Jason Brownlee
- CB Bryce Hall
- LB Zaire Barnes
- DL Carl Lawson
- OL Austin Deculus
- T Carter Warren
And these are the Texans' seven inactives:
- CB Chris Boyd
- Emergency QB Case Keenum
- RB Mike Boone
- S Deandre Houston-Carson
- DE Myjai Sanders
- G Nick Broeker
- TE Dalton Schultz