Former CFL quarterback Chris Streveler saw his first regular season game action with the New York Jets in Week 16 of the 2022 NFL schedule on Thursday Night Football.
2021 second overall NFL Draft pick, Zach Wilson struggled to move the offence after leading gang green to an opening drive field goal. The 23-year-old Wilson completed 9-of-18 passes for 92 yards with one interception while being sacked three times and was pulled late in the third quarter. Head coach Robert Saleh put Wilson on the bench and sent Streveler into the game.
“You have to look at it from a team perspective, we’re not doing anything offensively. I’m trying to figure it out, I’m trying to help get the guys going, I’m trying to get myself in a little bit of a rhythm and we had nothing there. You can’t blame him in that situation, he put Chris out there,” Wilson said.
The 27-year-old Streveler completed 10-of-15 passes (66 percent) for 90 yards plus added team-highs with nine carries for 54 yards on the ground. He led three drives which resulted in two turnovers on downs in Jacksonville Jaguars territory and a lost Garrett Wilson fumble.
“We were trying to change up to get the run game going. I know Zach was struggling, but Streveler came in, he ran a couple of plays, sparked the offence — got the explosive play. It snowballed in a good way for Strev. We wanted to give him an opportunity to finish that drive. By the time we got it back, same thing, we’re already here let’s just keep going with Strev,” Saleh said.
“We came into the game — especially with the weather forecast, it ended up being a great day — with a package of plays for Strev to try to utilize the run game in the event that it really got out of hand with the weather. With that package, we moved right down the field and had ’em on their heels. We didn’t finish the drive but he sparked the offence, so we wanted to keep it going.”
Streveler captured national attention this preseason, leading the Jets to three consecutive victories. He completed 24-of-33 passes for 277 yards with five touchdowns and one interception while running the ball nine times for 71 yards in what Saleh dubbed “one of the greatest preseasons in the history of football.” However, the dual-threat QB was released as part of final roster cuts, but the Jets signed him to the practice roster.
“Strev runs around and he makes plays. Protection wasn’t great for him either, but he was able to slide, get out of the pocket, create some stuff off schedule and move the chains,” Saleh said.
“He’s great with his legs and his arm, he was able to give us a little bit of a spark there. We were able to move the ball a little bit,” Wilson said. “He is one of those guys that is going to lay it all out there for the guys. I’m always happy for him, he’s one of my good buddies. You could see that was the most we moved the ball all day.”
Streveler has to play only four more NFL regular season games to secure his league pension. He saw action in seven games over two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals (2020-2021) and completed 17-of-25 pass attempts for 141 yards with one touchdown, and one interception plus seven carries for 21 yards. He’s had stints with the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins but did not see game action with either team.
The Jets lost 19-3 to the Jags and New York’s (7-8) playoff chances went down with the setback. It’s the fourth straight loss for Saleh’s group, the longest streak during his tenure as bench boss.