The Jets' Zach Wilson throws a pass in the first half...

The Jets' Zach Wilson throws a pass in the first half against the Titans Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Robert Saleh told Zach Wilson two weeks ago, "It’s OK to play a boring game of football." On Sunday, Wilson did anything but that, and it resulted in the best day of the quarterback’s brief NFL life.

"It wasn’t boring today," receiver Corey Davis said after the Jets’ 27-24 overtime victory over the Titans at MetLife Stadium, Wilson’s first victory as a pro and Saleh’s first as a pro head coach.

Before we go any further, it should be noted that both Saleh and Wilson argued there indeed was some boringness to Wilson’s game, in the sense that he was smarter with the ball than he had been in his first three outings.

But for Davis and the rest of us, there was nothing boring about the afternoon, which Wilson described as "a roller coaster."

Saleh was asked what he told Wilson when it was over. "You having fun yet?" the coach said.

Reporters followed up with Wilson to see what his response was. "I am," the rookie said with a smile.

To be clear, Wilson’s big day — after another slow start that Wilson said raised "tension" in the huddle — does not mean the Jets at last have found a franchise quarterback.

He noted the many mistakes he made, several times failing to make plays that could have ended the game long before Randy Bullock’s missed 49-yard field goal in the final seconds of overtime.

"I’m excited, but I’m also beating myself up," Wilson said.

Late in regulation time, he missed an open Davis on a third-and-10 that could have effectively ended the game and given the Jets a 24-17 victory.

In overtime, he had a chance to win it with a touchdown but threw the ball at the feet of an open Ryan Griffin.

Then, with the Jets on the 1-yard line on third down — and with Saleh planning to go for it from there on fourth down — Wilson failed to get rid of the ball, attempted to run and was stopped for a 3-yard loss. The Jets settled for a field goal.

"It’s a good learning lesson for him," Saleh said. "Just throw it away."

In the end, none of that mattered, thanks to several impressive plays that finally gave fans an inkling of why the Jets were and are so high on the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

"He’s a fighter, I’ll tell you that," linebacker C.J. Mosley said.

"He can launch it, that’s for sure," Davis said.

Things were going sideways for the Jets’ offense again, including an interception of Wilson by Kristian Fulton on a play on which Davis slipped and fell.

But in the third quarter, things turned around.

There was the play on which Wilson scrambled to his right under pressure and chucked it deep downfield while on the run, finding Keelan Cole for a 54-yard gain that set up a field goal (and the Jets’ first lead of the season).

In the fourth, Wilson scrambled again and threw deep to Davis, resulting in a 43-yard gain on a pass-interference penalty.

Later in that drive, he fumbled a snap, kept his composure and found Jamison Crowder for a 29-yard gain, then rolled right to find Crowder for a touchdown from 3 yards.

Then there was his finest moment, when he rolled right, waved Davis deep and threw a 53-yard touchdown pass that gave the Jets a 24-17 lead.

Wilson saw the cornerback playing Cole on a shorter route and a chance for Davis to run past the defense, so he sent him long. Davis said, "It was like backyard ball."

Wilson finished 21-for-34 for 297 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked only once.

"You get on a roll, you get some confidence, it started to snowball," Saleh said. "He showed everything we saw in practice."

Wilson was adamant during the Jets’ 0-3 start that his confidence was not shaken, but he said winning is a more enjoyable way to learn.

"You just have to understand that you’re in this position for a reason," he said. "There are going to be growing pains, but you have to do what you’ve done your whole life."

This Jets’ season primarily is about developing a young roster in general and one young quarterback in particular. So Sunday was a good day all around.

"He was aggressive when he needed to be; he was boring when he needed to be," Saleh said.

The aggressive part was more fun.


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