The New York Jets have been struggling throughout the 2023 NFL season, which is unfortunately a recurring theme for the team in recent years. This week, they’re hosting the Dolphins in what is set to be the NFL’s inaugural Black Friday game. Initially anticipated as a clash between AFC East contenders led by Aaron Rodgers and Tua Tagovailoa, circumstances have drastically changed for the Jets since the game was first scheduled.
The season took a sharp turn early on when Rodgers suffered an Achilles injury merely four plays into the campaign. Subsequently, the Jets encountered a turbulent journey at the quarterback position. Despite hoping that third-year QB Zach Wilson, who had the opportunity to learn from Rodgers, would bring about improvements after being selected second overall in the 2022 draft, the anticipated progress hasn’t materialized.
Instead of Rodgers or Wilson commanding the Jets’ offense this Friday, the reins will be handed over to journeyman Tim Boyle. Boyle, making his first start since 2021 when he stepped in for an injured Jared Goff in Detroit, signed with New York during the offseason. Last week, he made his Jets debut when he replaced Wilson during a loss against the Bills.
Coach Robert Saleh’s decision to start Boyle reflects the team’s desperation for a positive change in an offense that has struggled significantly and could potentially go down as one of the worst in NFL history.
Saleh explained, “It’s just to give (Boyle) an opportunity to see if we can do something with the offense.”
The situation for Wilson is disheartening, losing his starting position to a seasoned journeyman who has spent more time on the sidelines than on the field. Furthermore, Wilson is being bypassed for a quarterback whose college career wasn’t marked by impressive statistics.
Boyle’s collegiate journey at UConn saw its share of challenges. Despite a successful high school career at Xavier High School in Middlefield, Conn., where he led his team to three state championships, Boyle’s transition to UConn wasn’t smooth. In his first season, he played in five games but faced struggles, throwing eight interceptions during that limited playing time.
While he gained more experience over the subsequent two years, featuring in nine and 11 games, Boyle’s touchdown production remained notably low. By the end of his time at UConn in 2015, he had amassed just one passing touchdown throughout his tenure with the Huskies.