Joe Namath has never felt lower as a New York Jets fan.
The Hall of Fame quarterback who led the Jets to victory in Super Bowl III acknowledged in a radio interview Monday that there's plenty of blame to go around for the team's lackluster performance during its 1-2 start to the season.
But like a lot of Jets fans, much of his frustration is with one person in particular: starting quarterback Zach Wilson.
"I guess you don't point your finger at any one guy, but as a fan I sure do — the guy that handles that ball and has to make decisions," Namath said on the "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN New York radio. "He's got to be right more times than not. And we've been watching [Wilson] a couple years now and I don't have any confidence in him at all."
Of course, Wilson wasn't supposed to be the starting quarterback this year. He has struggled since being drafted second overall in 2021, so much so that the Jets acquired four-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers during the offseason to take over at the position.
But Rodgers suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury just minutes into the opening game, leaving the offense back in Wilson's hands. The Jets pulled off a 22-16 overtime win over the Buffalo Bills that Sept. 11 night, largely behind the defense and special teams, but Namath praised Wilson's efficient performance on X (formerly Twitter) that night.
"Zach, ya done well!" Namath wrote after Wilson completed 14 of 21 passes for 140 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
The honeymoon was short.
Wilson completed 12 of 27 passes for 170 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions in a 30-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 17, and he was 18-for-30 passing for 150 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in a 15-10 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday.
"I don't believe in him," Namath said of Wilson on Monday. "I don't believe he has a future as a good player, and I think they made the wrong choice when they drafted him."
But coach Robert Saleh told reporters Monday that the Jets do believe in Wilson. The team hasn't made any moves to replace Rodgers with another veteran quarterback, leaving Tim Boyle, who is 0-3 as a starter during his four-year career, as the only other signal caller on the roster.
"I know it's going to go on deaf ears and whatever, but what we see on a day-in and day-out basis is a young man who is much improved from a year ago," Saleh said of Wilson. "He's much more confident, he's much more accurate, he's got much more command of the huddle. He looks better in the pocket."
Namath isn't buying it. Asked what he thought might be done to help Wilson improve, Broadway Joe said: "Send him to Kansas City to back up someone like [Patrick] Mahomes and maybe he'd learn something. I wouldn't keep him. You know, I've seen enough of Zach Wilson, all right? I've seen enough."
Asked if this is the lowest he's felt as a Jets fan, Namath said, "I think so."
But, the legendary quarterback said, "I'm not quitting on them. I'm pulling for 'em, but boy they need to make some changes starting with on the field or on the sidelines or upstairs. Man, they need to get better."
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