New York Jets QB Zach Wilson says he's 'overthinking' throws, needs to 'rip it' over final 12 games

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets rookie Zach Wilson, who leads the NFL with nine interceptions, vows to take a let-'er-rip mentality into the final 12 games of the season.

Wilson has used his powerful right arm to make highlight-film throws downfield, but he's struggling with short passes because he's not playing instinctively.

"I would just say I'm overthinking them," he said Tuesday on a videoconference call with reporters. "I would just say, to an extent, I'm aiming the throw rather than just throwing it, like I've always done my whole life."

Wilson said he's so consumed with learning new things that it's causing him to be "a little robotic, and I think sometimes that's how those throws come out. I'm aiming them. I just have to throw it and rip it."

In Sunday's 27-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Wilson misfired on a handful of shorter throws, including two screen passes. He struggled throughout the game, especially in the first quarter, as the Jets dropped to 1-4 at their bye week.

The Jets return to action Oct. 24 against the New England Patriots (2-3) on the road. Except for a dazzling second half in the Jets' Week 4 overtime win over the Tennessee Titans, Wilson's rookie year has fallen short of expectations. His Total QBR is only 23.9, which ranks him 31st out of 32 qualified passers.

Wilson, drafted second overall, insisted there's nothing wrong with his mechanics, but he has completed only 61% of his passes that travel 10 air yards or less -- 27th in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

On Monday, coach Robert Saleh took a positive approach, noting how Buffalo Bills star Josh Allen struggled in his first five starts as a rookie in 2018. He noted that Allen's stats were "damn near identical to what our young kid is going through."

Wilson appreciated the vote of confidence, but he's not looking for ways to justify his slow start.

"I don't want to feel like I have to make an excuse for myself of why I'm not getting the job done," he said. "I understand that, and I understand it's a process and having perspective, but I have also a high expectation for myself and my ability to make plays and all that different kind of things."

The Jets have little choice but to stick with Wilson because their top backup, Mike White, has no regular-season experience. They're rebuilding, and the organization is willing to ride out the bumps with the former BYU star.

"Everybody believes in him," center Connor McGovern said.

Wilson, planning to return home to Utah over the four-day break, said he will use the down time to study tape and consult with his personal coach, former NFL quarterback John Beck.

"I'm going to go watch the first five games of this season, see what things I really want to put an emphasis on and how I can just clear my mind," he said. "I'll spend a little time with the family and then be ready to come back and get after it this next week."