Jets WR Garrett Wilson was named the NFL's Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week for his play in Week 13 after becoming the first rookie in franchise history to have three games with at least 100 yards receiving in a season. In a 27-22 loss to the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium last Sunday, Wilson set a career-high with 162 yards receiving and tied a career-best with 8 receptions.
"He's impressive," head coach Robert Saleh said. "I don't think it's a secret with him. He's dynamic and he's special."
Wilson totaled 6 receptions for 84 yards in the second and third quarters ,and stood out in the fourth with 78 yards.
Fourteen seconds into the final 15 minutes of the game, QB Mike White found Wilson in the middle of the field on a 60-yard catch-and-run play that took the Jets to the Vikings' 11-yard line. Wilson broke a tackle and raced 47 yards after the catch before stepping a few inches out of bounds – Wilson's longest play of the season — on his way to the end zone.
"Initially, the first window wasn't there, and he just kept running," White said. "And he just kept running and trusted me and I trusted him, and I threw it in that second window, and he made an unbelievable play that Garrett seems to do a couple of times a game now."
Saleh added: "Wish he could have kept his foot in bounds on that one, but man, he's amazing. That was amazing that even got to that with the way he broke tackles."
Last Sunday, Wilson reached 790 yards receiving this season – 54 short of Keyshawn Johnson's franchise rookie record of 844 set in 1996.
Wilson ranks highly among his rookie counterparts this season. He is No. 2 in yards, tied for No. 3 in touchdowns with 4, No. 2 in receptions with 57; and No. 1 in first-down receptions with 38, yards after the catch with 326, missed tackles forced with 16, and receptions of at least 15 yards with 20.
In White's first two starts, Wilson has been his most reliable target. Over the past two weeks, Wilson is No. 1 in the NFL in yards with 257 and No. 1 among wideouts in yards after the catch with 119.
"Garrett cares and he is a fighter," White said. "I mean he might not have gotten the ball early, but he never complained. He just kept running routes and it came to him."
Wilson is the Jets first four-time winner of the rookie award. Wilson won in Week 2 against Cleveland, Week 8 versus New England and Week 9 against Chicago. Jets CB Sauce Gardner won in Weeks 5, 7 and 9 and RB Breece Hall won in Weeks 4 and 6.
A Jets rookie has won the Pepsi Zero Sugar Award in 9-of-13 weeks including 8 of the last 10 and 6 times in a row from Week 4 to 9.