In the context of a lost game, it was just a drop. As the Jets stormed down the field for a final drive that could only erase a fraction of their 21-point deficit, Zach Wilson tried to connect with C.J. Uzomah in the end zone, but the ball bounced off the tight end’s chest, hand, foot and then hand again.
Uzomah apologized to Wilson.
“Felt like s–t,” he told The Post.
But Wilson, with the Jets sputtering again, flipped the blame and said, “I should’ve got the ball up to you.”
That meant something to Uzomah, and he felt it captured an important element of Wilson, too.
“I’m like, ‘Dude, no, it was a f–king perfect ball,’ ” Uzomah said. “ ‘What’re you talking about? I gotta catch that.’ ”
In moments like that, Uzomah knew Wilson hadn’t lost command of the huddle.
He hadn’t strayed from shouldering blame, even as Uzomah pinned it on everyone else around Wilson.
The Jets, according to head coach Robert Saleh, aren’t receiving demands from the front office to keep playing Wilson despite a poor offense.
They’re in lockstep with the decision.
And as Wilson nears the one-year anniversary of Saleh benching him for Mike White, Uzomah has sensed growth from Wilson in a situation like this, too.
“I think when he’s in the huddle and he’s in the pocket, when he’s saying stuff to us, it’s a completely different person [from last year],” Uzomah said.
Saleh reiterated Wednesday that the Jets don’t plan to give Tim Boyle or Trevor Siemian first-team practice reps, and he also said Wilson has put the Jets in position to win games — citing the Giants, Broncos and Eagles games.
“We’re all on the same page with [Wilson starting],” Saleh said. “So any conspiracy theory that might be out there, we’re on the same page.”
Still, the Jets (4-4) are at a crossroads — again — with their quarterback, with Wilson out of rhythm after early-season strides and Aaron Rodgers still recovering from his torn Achilles.
Their offense changed. Wilson does not possess the same freedom Rodgers had.
“Obviously, it’s not the Greatest Show on Turf,” Saleh said. “Obviously, he knows that there’s a lot of things that he can do better. There’s a lot of things we can all do better. And yeah, he needs to get better. He knows that.
“But I know the knee-jerk reaction is to always hit the panic button … He’s doing the best he can. But again, he still needs to get better.”
There hasn’t been tension or drama like last season, when Garrett Wilson, then a rookie, blasted the offense following a Nov. 20 loss and said “this s–t’s sorry.”
That had tension. That had drama, even though Garrett Wilson didn’t specifically target his quarterback.
Before the Jets’ next game, Saleh turned to Mike White.
This week, after Monday’s loss to the Chargers, Breece Hall said the offense needs to “grow up” and Garrett Wilson called it “disappointing,” but specifically backed the third-year quarterback.
Still, the pressure keeps mounting — for Saleh and GM Joe Douglas, for anyone and everyone associated with the Jets — to end their 12-year playoff drought, especially with their defense allowing the ninth-fewest yards and eighth-fewest points per game.
“I think the NFL season is a roller coaster,” Zach Wilson said. “I feel like I’m in a good spot, and it sucks because we’re not doing a lot offensively, but progressively, each week I feel more and more comfortable, I feel like I’m getting better and that’s all you can do, really, in my eyes.”
When Saleh gathered the Jets for a preseason meeting captured by “Hard Knocks,” he challenged the offensive line to not be the reason the offense dragged.
Saleh hyped up Allen Lazard. He hyped up Garrett Wilson.
And he said — with plenty of f-bombs — that nothing mattered until the “big boys up front change who the f–k we are.”
“We proved last year that we’re a 7-10 football team with a really f–king good defense and a mediocre offense,” Saleh said at the time.
The defense has remained strong. The offense has remained mediocre — and the issue swelled beyond the offensive line. Lazard called his season, which featured a brutal game Monday with three penalties and a drop, “uncharacteristic” and “nowhere near where I want it to be.” Offensive lineman Max Mitchell took blame for a sack or two Monday.
The Jets keep standing by Wilson, too. The pressure for a spark only increases with each passing week, though.
“There’s a lot on Zach’s plate,” Lazard said. “I think he’s been progressing pretty well, just how he’s been able to handle the game plan and how he’s been able to conduct the offense during the games.
“But obviously, there’s still a lot of room to grow.”
Jets quarterback Zach Wilson calls a play during Sunday’s Chargers game on Nov. 5, 2023.Robert Sabo for NY Post
Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is sacked during a loss to the Chargers on Nov. 5, 2023.Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Zach Wilson walks off the field following a 27-6 loss to the Chargers.Robert Sabo for NY Post
Jets head coach Robert Saleh speaks to the media on Nov. 8, 2023.Bill Kostroun for New York Post
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