While the Jets offense rode a punishing run game in the team's 20-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills, QB Zach Wilson again relied on WR Garrett Wilson through the air as the rookie led the team with 8 catches and 92 yards.
"He was gritty," HC Robert Saleh said of Wilson. "I think somewhere around the middle of the fourth quarter somebody made the comment that he's going to be sore tomorrow. But it's a deserved sore."
The No. 10 overall pick in April's NFL Draft had his second consecutive game with at least 6 catches and 90 yards. In the first half, he had 6 catches for 65 yards and was on the receiving end of some big hits.
"Tough one, those boys from upstate can hit," the wideout said. "And I had a couple plays that were bang-bang. They took some hits, I took some hits, but it is going to feel a whole lot better that we won."
With 4:31 remaining in the first quarter, Wilson caught a pass on an out route and took it up the sideline for 15 yards. He collided with four defenders and dragged them forward for a first down. The drive resulted in a 53-yard field by K Greg Zuerlein and New York's first points.
Then with just under five minutes remaining in the half, Wilson had 24- and 8-yard catches on a key 13-play scoring drive. RB Michael Carter's 6-yard TD run cut the Bills lead to 14-10 with 35 seconds remaining in the half.
"I have just been seeing coverages better, knowing when to give this DB that release versus doing too much," Wilson said. "And getting into my route faster, trying to get into my route gets as far and as fast as possible."
With 5:30 remaining in the third quarter, on a double-reverse, Wilson fumbled the ball when he tried to fake a pass but recovered. Three plays later, RB James Robinson gave the Jets a 17-14 lead on a 7-yard TD reception, his first score in green and white.
"I feel like I did what I could do man," Wilson said. "The offense did what had to do took what they were given us, and, on that play, I was really fighting for it. Did what we had to do."
Wilson's chemistry with his quarterback is starting to heat up. In their first four games together since Zach Wilson's return from a right knee injury, the rookie wideout had 10 catches for 100 yards. In the last two contests, the Ohio State product tallied 14 receptions for 207 yards.
"We have some funky plays that end up working out in games," the second-year signal-caller said. "That's cool to have that chemistry. It is going to keep growing because there are some looks that we can still improve on. I'm trying to figure it out with him and everybody else of course, but he did a great job showing up today. Had some great catches."
Wilson may wake up Monday with a couple of bumps and bruises, but, to him, the hurt will be well worth it.
"Anytime we can get a division win is huge," Garrett Wilson said. "But I would be lying if I said Buffalo, we didn't have something for them and want to come out and prove something this week. And we did that in a big way, a huge win."