Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) scrambles against the New England...

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) scrambles against the New England Patriots during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.  Credit: AP/Noah K. Murray

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Zach Wilson’s confidence isn’t shaken at all and his belief in his team may be stronger than ever.

The Jets will face the AFC-best Bills on Sunday and are heavy underdogs against a team many expect to play in the Super Bowl. Wilson doesn’t view this as a measuring-stick game to see how far the Jets have come, though. He thinks they’re good enough to beat Buffalo now.

“These guys are good, but we’re good, we’re a good team,” he said Thursday. “We’re close. Things are getting closer every week. I think for us, it’s just going out there and taking on the challenge of understanding that we can beat these guys.”

Wilson’s performance will have a lot of say in that.

The Jets (5-3) were close to snapping their 12-game losing streak against New England last week. They might have done it had Wilson not thrown three interceptions.

Buffalo (6-1) is a tougher defense than New England. The Bills could take a similar approach and see if the young quarterback can beat them. If they do, Wilson sounds ready.

“It’s going to be a great challenge for us,” he said. “I’m really excited for it. I think we can do some good stuff against them. I’m excited to go out there and approach it that way, take the challenge on as a team. I think we can do some good things.”

Wilson’s rough game has been dissected and criticized since Sunday, and doubts about whether he’s the Jets’ long-term answer at quarterback have increased. That is, outside of the Jets’ facility.

His coaches continue to express the belief that he will learn from his mistakes and keep improving.

In discussing the struggles Wilson and the offense had, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said multiple times that he himself needs to do better. The Jets are trying to take some heat off Wilson so he can focus on getting better and getting ready for this game.

“He’s made of all the right stuff,” LaFleur said. “He’ll learn from it. He’s approached this week of practice — I’m not going to say any different — but he’s in the right mindset to go do right for himself, but more importantly, for this team.”

Before last week, the Jets won four straight, with Wilson more of a game manager than a gunslinger. He threw for a career-high 355 yards and two touchdowns against New England, but under pressure, he made some bad throws and decisions.

Wilson got out of the pocket on all three interceptions, and instead of sailing it out of bounds, he tried to keep the play alive as long as possible. That cost him and the Jets.

LaFleur said every offensive player has guidelines of what to do when the quarterback is scrambling. Wilson making the right decision is critical, but LaFleur also said the coaches can help him by “giving him some fundamentals” to make things easier.

“You want him to be aggressive but never careless with the ball,” LaFleur said. “That starts with me, making sure he understands the difference between being aggressive and being careless.”

Wilson said he doesn’t pay attention to the outside noise about his play and that all that matters is what his coaches and the other players in the quarterback room tell him.

He seems to have gotten the message that he has to play boring football, as Robert Saleh has said. Saleh and LaFleur want Wilson to throw the ball away when there’s nothing there and move on to the next play. Time will tell.

“In desperation mode, I can’t be forcing the ball like that,” Wilson said. “We have a great defense. I got to keep relying on them and allowing them to put us in a good situation as an offense. We did a lot of good things. We just got to be able to keep learning from that. I got to learn from that and take care of the ball.

“The difficulty is being aggressively smart,” he added. “I had some plays in that last game that just weren’t smart and I got to take those out. Sometimes interceptions are going to happen when the defense makes a good play. You can live with those. But I got to be able to be better on some of the other ones.”

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