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Return of Jets QB Zach Wilson statistically unimpressive but magical

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 10/3/2022 Nathaniel Griffee, Yardbarker
Zach Wilson (2) of the New York Jets sprints for the first down during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. © Michael Longo/For USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK Zach Wilson (2) of the New York Jets sprints for the first down during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium.

Zach Wilson was magical on Sunday in the Jets' win against the Steelers. 

Fourth down and seven. Down 10. A little more than 10 minutes left in the game. Wilson dropped back to pass against a defense that had already picked him off twice.

Then he zipped a throw into the gloves of Corey Davis for 22 yards and a first down. The completion spurred Wilson to engineer two touchdown drives and ultimately win the game, 24-20.

Wilson's stat line for his first game back from a right knee injury was unimpressive — a 50% completion percentage, 252 yards, two interceptions, one passing touchdown. But the stats don't tell the whole story, as they often haven't in the quarterback's young career.

The stats don't account for drops by Garrett Wilson and Tyler Conklin, whose flub led to a pick-six.

The stats miss the time Wilson spent scrambling in the backfield, pulling a Houdini seemingly every other play as Steelers linemen blew past a below-average offensive line.

The stats can't distinguish that, when Wilson had to will his team to a victory in the fourth quarter, he did just that. That completion on fourth down for 22 yards shifted momentum in the Jets' favor.

There is no clutch stat. Clutch is a type of magic.

So when CBS displays graphics that show how the Jets are statistically better when Wilson is off the field, as it did Sunday, remember that leadfooted Joe Flacco couldn't have pulled out the win. 

Wilson brings something to the table that Jets fans have been missing for a long time: magic. If he can make magic happen, he can perhaps conjure something the Jets' fan base sorely needs: hope.

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