Zach Wilson #2 of the Jets tries to call a...

Zach Wilson #2 of the Jets tries to call a play moments before being forced to call a time out during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. Credit: Jim McIsaac

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Zach Wilson felt more comfortable last week than he had in any other game during his rookie season. That could be because, in Wilson’s mind, he’s already on to Year 2.

"The cool thing about my situation is I’m kind of looking at this like this is my second year," Wilson said Thursday afternoon. "Kind of like I already played the first season. I took some games off because of injury."

Wilson had a four-game break after spraining his right knee. He spent that time rehabbing, studying film of his games and watching how Mike White, Josh Johnson and Joe Flacco ran the offense in his absence. Wilson worked with his personal quarterback coach and ran the scout team for two weeks.

He believes all of that is paying off now.

In Wilson’s second game back last week against the Eagles, he looked in command of the huddle and ran the offense from the start better than he had all season. He led three first-half touchdown drives, including two in the first quarter. The Jets totaled three first-quarter points in his previous seven starts.

"I felt like it was just the first time I finally got to, like, play football this year and actually feel like we were doing something on offense," Wilson said. "I was getting things going and I was feeling comfortable with what we were doing, and things were just rolling."

He added that because of all the film and reps, it was "probably the most comfortable I’ve ever been from an offensive standpoint."

The coaches have been working with Wilson on slowing down, playing calmer, not thinking too much and making sure his eyes and feet are in the right places. Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur saw improvement in all areas last Sunday.

They will continue to hammer it home in the remaining five games, starting with Sunday’s home contest against the Saints.

"Whatever the stats are going to be, if you’re dropping with the right tempo, your eyes are in the right place and you’re going through your progression and getting the ball where you need to during the timing of the play, good things and results are going to happen," LaFleur said. "Don’t overanalyze it. Get the ball where it needs to go and I’m sure the results will speak for themselves."

Wilson certainly has struggled this season, but the No. 2 overall pick hopes that’s in the past.

"I have a high expectation for myself to do well," he said. "Of course, I understand it’s going to be a challenge being a rookie and everything. But I understand it’s a process. As long as I’m making growth and heading in the right direction, I can just keep working at it.

"It’s the process right now rather than the end result. We’re working for something bigger than just this right now."

Wilson could be without some key playmakers Sunday, but he

said that won’t change his approach. He’s focused on finishing his "second year" the right way.

"I feel like that excitement, the energy to want to play and finish this season is 100% there for me just because I feel like I learned so many things and that I worked to improve on them," Wilson said. "Now I got to show them in the game. Now I feel like I’m two games into a new season. I feel like the last five I got to take very seriously as far as working to improve every single day.

"I’m just eager to try and get better."

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