The football landscape for the New York Jets is set to undergo a significant transformation as they gear up for the 12th week of the NFL season. Per Tom Pelissero from NFL Network, the Jets are preparing to have Tim Boyle as their starting quarterback when they face the Miami Dolphins on the coming Friday.
Zach Wilson, who took over at the start of the season after a catastrophic Achilles rupture sidelined Aaron Rodgers, will be realigned to a back-up role. At 29, Boyle has spent most of his career as a reserve on various teams, with the current season on the Jets being his fourth team in a span of five years.
Boyle entered the NFL as an undrafted free-agent signee for the Green Bay Packers back in 2014. In the years that followed, he has seen action in a total of 18 games, of which he started in three.
This year, when he served as a backup to Jared Goff in the Detroit Lions, he has made his three career starts. His stats were modest but not insignificant – he completed 61 out of 94 pass attempts for a total of 526 yards, throwing three touchdowns, yet was intercepted six times.
On first glance, Boyle’s career stats may not be a source of inspiration, but given Wilson’s performance in Sunday’s 32-6 defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills, even a modest uptick would be a welcome sight.
Wilson’s output during the game was far from satisfactory, with a completion rate of less than half – 7 out of 15 passes for just 81 yards, a single touchdown, and one interception.
By the third quarter, Head Coach Robert Saleh decided he’d witnessed enough and took the decision that he’d been avoiding despite the continuous outcry. He substituted Wilson, marking an end to his playtime in the game — an action that had been persistently called for by fans, football pundits, and even revered Jets icon Joe Namath.
Thus, Boyle completed the game in place of Wilson, marking a new chapter in the Jets’ current season. Naturally, the decision to start Boyle must not have come easy for Saleh and his coaching staff. After all, they had persisted with Wilson for a considerable duration. It had become abundantly clear that changing course at this juncture wouldn’t significantly alter the season’s outcome.
However, persisting with Wilson as the starting quarterback ran its own risks. It could have led to an intensified morale collapse, with Wilson being further disheartened, not to mention a domino effect on the rest of the team and the loyal fanbase – all witnessing their season spiraling downwards.
Registering Boyle as the new starting quarterback might not necessarily alter the trajectory of the Jets’ season in a significant way, but it has one clear impact. It shifts who is going to direct proceedings from the most critical position on the field – the one quarterbacking the team.
While the repercussions of whether this decision brings an upturn or a downturn to the Jets can’t be predicted at this stage, one thing is for certain: there would be a fresh face being scrutinized and credited or blamed.
The team’s outcome under this new leadership will only be known once the clock stops ticking in the fourth quarter on Friday night (or perhaps, even much after that). One vital change, however, will already have taken place: there will be a new player under the spotlight, facing the heat of the critics and fans alike.