Jets to start former Lions quarterback Tim Boyle as they clumsily move on from Zach Wilson

The New York Jets have finally benched Zach Wilson, and former Lions quarterback Tim Boyle is stepping in.
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, the New York Jets saw enough. During Sunday's 32-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills, quarterback Zach Wilson was benched in favor of Tim Boyle. On Monday, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and others, Boyle will start in Week 12 Friday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins.

Boyle started his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers in 2018 as Aaron Rodgers' backup, which was surely a huge factor in the Jets signing him last offseason. In between, he hit two more legs of an NFC North tour with the Detroit Lions in 2021 and the Chicago Bears part of 2022.

Some people think Boyle has talent. But from his college career at Eastern Kentucky and UConn (12 touchdowns and 26 interceptions), to barely having a chance to play in the NFL, we simply haven't seen it. With his 14 pass attempts on Sunday, he has 120 career regular season pass attempts.

Former Lions quarterback Tim Boyle somehow getting a shot to start for the Jets

If the 4-6 Jets can find away to stick in any sort of playoff contention, Boyle may just be keeping the seat warm for Rodgers' possible return from a torn Achilles some time in December. But there's a chance Boyle starts the final seven games of the season.

The largest sample of work Boyle has is in 2021 with the Lions. He started three games when Jared Goff was injured and then tested positive for COVID-19. The Lions unsurprisingly lost all three games.

In the first of those starts, a 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 11, Boyle went 15-for-23 for 77 yards with the lowest passer rating (34.1) for a Lions' starting quarterback since Drew Stanton in 2009. Beat writers who were on the scene remain scarred by the experience of watching such a bad quarterback.

Here's what Boyle did in his other two starts that season.

Week 16, at Atlanta Falcons: 24-for-34 for 187 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 81.4 passer rating
Week 17, at Seattle Seahawks: 22-for-37 for 262 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions, 65.4 passer rating.

Overall, Boyle posted a 63.5 passer rating in those three starts for the Lions, with 526 passing yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions. Merely competent quarterback play might have won the games against the Browns and the Falcons, but Boyle couldn't manage it.

That Boyle was ever, and is still, on an NFL roster is a minor miracle. His elevation to the starting job in New York says more about Wilson than it does anything else. The Jets are just done with their latest first-round quarterback bust, and literally anyone else they have available will do.

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