Justin Fields shows leadership in apologizing to defense in Bears loss, while Zach Wilson felt like his three points gave the Jets a chance to win
This is a tale of two young quarterbacks with two different approaches to leadership. One creates rising tensions. The other builds trust.
Zach Wilson takes no responsibility in New York Jets loss
On Sunday, the New York Jets lost in stunning fashion to the New England Patriots when rookie Marcus Jones returned a punt in the waning seconds of the game to put the Pats on top 10-3 in an otherwise sloppy game.
While the Patriots had little to hang their hats on offensively, the Jets’ performance (especially Zach Wilson’s) was far worse. Wilson completed nine passes on 22 attempts, for only 77 yards, yielding a QBR of 50.8. The Jets actually recorded more punts than Wilson completed passes.
Most quarterbacks after such a subpar showing would arrive at the postgame press conference with some semblance of humility, if not outright shame. But not Zach Wilson.
When a reporter asked the second-year quarterback if he felt like he let his defense down, Wilson answered with an emphatic, “No.”
Obviously upset with the performance, what stunned most people, however, was the sheer lack of awareness of how this comment would play in the locker room. Quarterbacks are supposed to be leaders, and when they don’t perform, it’s generally expected that they show that accountability.
Justin Fields takes a different approach in Bears loss
The recent narrative in Chicagoland has been that second-year quarterback Justin Fields is starting to step up and play to the level expected of his immense talent.
But in the 24-27 loss this past weekend to the Atlanta Falcons, Fields came up short. Completing 14 of 21 passes with a TD and an interception, he admitted that it wasn’t his best performance.
After the game, however, Fields ripped up the play that Wilson had drawn up. Instead of defending his performance, he apologized to his defense. And this self-awareness and responsibility apparently went a long way with his teammates.
It’s unclear how both of their careers will progress, but it certainly appears that Fields’s approach could keep him in a starting role far longer than his counterpart on the Jets.