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Jets' Starting WR Credits Hackett for Helping Get Zach On Track

Allen Lazard says that the Jets' offensive coordinator is a key reason for beleaguered QB's bounce back

It's only been two games, but Zach Wilson has been noticeably more accurate and efficient since taking an abundance of criticism in the aftermath of a Week 3 loss to New England.

The New York Jets' starting quarterback, who was unexpectedly pressed into action when Aaron Rodgers went down four plays into the season opener, completed more than 70 percent of his passes for the second week in a row. 

In a 31-21 road victory over the Denver Broncos, Wilson averaged 7.65 yards per attempt while connecting at a 73.1 percent clip. He presided over four consecutive second-half scoring drives.

"Zach did a great job, just conducting himself the whole game. He put us in a great position to be successful. A lot of his throws were catchable," said veteran wide receiver Allen Lazard, who made three catches on four targets in the win.

Wilson, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, entered the 2023 campaign with a 55.2 completion percentage over 22 starts. Over his last two outings, he has accounted for a 72.3 completion percentage while averaging 244.0 yards of total  offense.

"For him to be able to kind of bounce back these past two weeks, and just show his true self and his ability at quarterback, because he's super talented, was great to see," said Lazard.

According to the veteran receiver, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has been a force behind Wilson's improved performance. 

"I give a lot of credit to Hackett as well. The play calls, and the design of the plays, are just putting Zach in the best position to be successful," said Lazard, who spent three seasons in Hackett's West Coast-based scheme with the Green Bay Packers (2019-21).

Hackett, who was fired midway through his first season as Broncos' head coach, provided Wilson with a winning gameplan on Sunday and received a game ball for his role in the victory. Current Broncos' head coach Sean Payton verbally blasted Hackett this past summer, giving the Jets extra motivation to win one for their offensive coordinator.

Hackett and Wilson were both under fire from the fan base after back-to-back 10-point duds against the Cowboys and Patriots. The offense, however, was able to turn things around against the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Sunday Night Football in Week 4. Wilson accounted for two touchdowns, a two-point conversion and a 105.2 quarterback rating in the near upset.

"He’s done a great job blocking everything out and continually growing as a quarterback within the system. I appreciate that about him," said Hackett prior to the road win in Denver. "He knows that he has a lot more to give and we are just going to continue developing."


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