BOSTON -- This is not what the NFL had in mind when it scheduled the first-ever afternoon game on Black Friday.
With the Jets' offense struggling to a historic degree, head coach Robert Saleh has finally benched Zach Wilson. The head coach will be starting Tim Boyle at quarterback on Friday, when the Jets host the Dolphins at 3 p.m. ET the day after Thanksgiving.
The NFL social media team even went to work to announce the news in meme form:
Ian Rapoport even wanted to get his own meme out there, just to flood the Tim Boyle meme market.
That's a lot of memes for Tim Boyle. Anyways.
Obviously, the league wanted to feature Aaron Rodgers and the Jets in as many nationally televised games as possible this season. That plan went kaput in the first quarter of Week 1, when Rodgers suffered his torn Achilles.
In Rodgers' place, Zach Wilson has played his ... unique style of quarterback for the Jets, with almost no success. In 10 games (nine starts), Wilson has thrown just six touchdowns while throwing seven interceptions. He's averaged 6.1 yards per attempt, he's taken 38 sacks, and he's posted a 73.8 passer rating. He's also fumbled nine times, with the other team recovering the loose ball on five of those.
The Jets did rattle off three straight wins in October, but Wilson threw one touchdown and amassed just 625 passing yards combined in those three games.
Saleh insisted over the past few weeks that Wilson was not playing as poorly as seemingly everyone else believed, but after Wilson went 7-for-15 for 81 yards with a touchdown and a pick while taking five sacks in Buffalo on Sunday, the head coach finally benched his QB.
The trouble is ... Boyle might not help matters. And that's putting it nicely.
The 29-year-old career backup went 7-for-14 for 33 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in his relief work on Sunday, which was his first game action since Week 18 with the Bears last year. In that appearance, Boyle was 2-for-8 for 33 yards with two interceptions.
Boyle, who entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2018 after playing at UConn and Eastern Kentucky, has played in 18 NFL games in total. He's started three of those games -- for the Lions in 2021 -- and has lost all three. He's completed 73 of his 120 passes for 607 yards with three touchdowns and nine interceptions.
That's the emergency cord the Jets are pulling at this moment, as they simultaneously get set to face the 7-3 Dolphins and redefine what it means to be stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The Jets sat at 4-3 after that October win streak, and with Rodgers making rapid progress in his Achilles recovery, the team had some hope of making a playoff push. But the Jets have gone 0-3 since, scoring just 24 points across the three games and going 40 straight drives without reaching the end zone. That's led to the overdue change.
Instead of a high-quality AFC East matchup featuring a Hall of Famer at quarterback for the New York-based team, football fans will be treated to The Tim Boyle Experience, much like they were on Thanksgiving 2021. Sarcastic commentary from Al Michaels might be the most compelling reason to stay tuned in to this one.
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