Zach Wilson of the Jets and head coach Robert Saleh...

Zach Wilson of the Jets and head coach Robert Saleh walk off the field after a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The clock sitting on the nightstand flips to 6 a.m., triggering the radio alarm that blares Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe.” It’s the recurring scene from the movie “Groundhog Day,” in which Bill Murray keeps reliving the same day.

The Jets are enduring Groundhog Day in real life.

They’ve lost five straight games. Their offense fails them every week. They’re changing quarterbacks — again.

Cue Sonny and Cher.

“It’s been weird,” tight end Tyler Conklin told Newsday. “[You think] this week there’s no way it ends up being like that again and the fact that it does, in a sense, it’s like, ‘What the [expletive]? There’s no way that happens again.’ It’s been hard to understand. It’s been hard to put words to it.”

Zach Wilson is back at quarterback and will try to help the Jets (4-8) snap their skid Sunday against the Texans (7-5) at MetLife Stadium before it matches last year’s season-ending six-game losing streak.

“I didn’t think it could be like last year again,'' Conklin said, "and here we are.”

The similarities are eerie.

Both years, the Jets got off to better starts than expected. (The caveat: expectations dropped this season after Aaron Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon in Week 1). Both times, the Jets went into the bye after an impressive win and controlling their destiny.

They fell apart both times.

Wilson was benched in Week 12 both seasons. He returned in Week 15 last year because of an injury suffered by  Mike White. Wilson is back in Week 14 this year became of even worse quarterback play from the recently waived Tim Boyle and current backup Trevor Siemian.

The Jets didn’t score an offensive touchdown three times during last year’s losing streak. They’ve been held out of the end zone in three of the last five games.

Cue the music.

“Yeah, yeah, sometimes,” linebacker C.J. Mosley said about it feeling as if it’s Groundhog Day. “It is what it is. You just have to focus on what we can control, and that’s coming to work and making sure the defense and I’m in the right position and my body’s right.”

The Jets’ defense, except for a few games, has been consistently good. It allowed only 13 points last week and recorded a safety, but the offense was held to  two field goals in a loss to Atlanta.

Robert Saleh went back to Zach for what could be his final five games with the Jets. Wilson is under contract for $11.2 million next year, but the Jets will get a more proven veteran to back up Rodgers so they don’t repeat this season again.

Deep down, Wilson surely knows this, which is why no one other than he outright denied The Athletic’s report that he was “reluctant” to play again and risk injury.

Now that he has the football again, Wilson promised one thing:

“I’m going to have more fun,” he said.

There is one way this script can change and this year can end differently from last year.

It probably won’t matter, given that the Jets’ chances of making the playoffs are microscopic. But Murray noticed the error of his ways in Groundhog Day and changed at the end. Maybe Wilson can, too.

It’s obvious he’s played too tight, too worried about making mistakes and not just letting it rip. Saleh wants Wilson to be faster with his decisions, trust what he sees and have an “[expletive] it mentality.” Wilson likes the sound of that. What does he have to lose?

“It’s being aggressively smart. I think that’s the word I need,” Wilson said. “When you see it, let it rip. Defense makes a good play, they make a good play. It’s understanding when it’s OK to make a mistake because you saw something, you let it rip and if something happens, something happens.

“It’s being aggressive and trusting. I think trust is the big word in there, too. Trusting what you see. Just understanding sometimes there will be some mistakes there, but the majority of the time when you trust what you see, good things can happen.”

The opponent Sunday is living the life the Jets’ organization envisioned when they hired Saleh and drafted Wilson No. 2 overall in 2021.

The Texans hired Saleh’s replacement as the 49ers' defensive coordinator, DeMeco Ryans, and drafted C.J Stroud. They have the No. 2 passing offense; the Jets have the second worst.

But the Jets hope to change that, starting now.

“Zach talked about it the other day. At this point, what do you have to lose?” Conklin said. “We got five games to play. He said, ‘I’m going to have the most fun I’ve had playing football and play the best football I can.’ He’ll be able to do that, and we all have to follow suit in the aspect of it’s a game we all love playing and we’ve had fun playing our whole lives — let’s get back to that.

“Hopefully we can start getting touchdowns on the board and start heading in the right direction.”

Roll the credits.



Line: Texans by 3.5; O/U 32.5

TV: CBS (Kevin Harlan, Tent Green)

Radio: ESPN-98.7 FM (Bob Wischusen, Marty Lyons); Sirius XM 83, 231.

All-time series: Jets lead, 6-3

(Texans have won 3 of last 4).

Last meeting: Nov. 28, 2021,

Jets 21 (at) Texans 14.


Jets: OUT: QB Aaron Rodgers (Achilles), WR Jason Brownlee (ankle), OL Wes Schweitzer (calf); QUESTIONABLE: RB Breece Hall (ankle), DL John Franklin-Myers (ankle), RT Carter Warren (hip). Texans: OUT: TE Dalton Schultz (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: DT Sheldon Rankins (elbow/shoulder), OT George Fant (hip), WR Noah Brown (knee).


Both teams hired a San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator and drafted a quarterback second overall. But it’s gone far differently for the Texans than the Jets. Houston, under first-year coach DeMeco Ryans, is a playoff contender and could win its division. C.J. Stroud is the NFL’s leader in passing yards and Rookie of the Year favorite. The Jets, in their third season under Robert Saleh, are sliding toward a 13th straight year of missing the playoffs. Zach Wilson has been benched three times in less than 13 months. He got his job back again this week, but could be playing his final five games with the Jets.


The Jets and Texans had the same bye week and same record going into it. Both were 3-3 and feeling good about their potential. Since, the Jets are 1-5 and the Texans 4-2. The Jets have scored 58 offensive points and totaled 1,459 yards since the bye. Houston has 146 points and racked up 2,393 yards.


Ryans was a Pro Bowl linebacker while playing for Saleh in Houston and then later coached with him in San Francisco. Ryans said Saleh is a big reason he’s an NFL head coach. “I learned how to coach from being under Saleh,” Ryans said. “He taught me a lot when it comes to scheme when it came to just handling players, game planning. So, I learned a lot from Saleh and owe a lot to him.”


“He is a guy I really wish we would have played Week 1 through 4 when he was still trying to figure out this game.”

— Jets ‘D’ coordinator Jeff Ulbrich on Texans rookie QB C.J. Stroud


20: Touchdown passes Stroud has thrown — one fewer than Zach Wilson has in his three seasons with the Jets.


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