The New York Jets faced off against the New England Patriots for their week two home opener. The Patriots beat the Jets 25-6 in a complete blowout. Jets quarterback Zach Wilson looked unimpressive in his Week 2 start against the Bill Belichick-coached defense. Wilson’s poor play was a large reason the Jets fell to 0-2.
Zach Wilson Unimpressive Against New England Patriots
Belichick’s History Against Rookie Quarterbacks
Wilson is just the latest in a long line of rookie quarterbacks to have struggled against Bill Belichick. Belichick has coached in the NFL for 47 years and has faced rookie quarterbacks 28 times, including Sunday’s matchup. After Sunday’s victory, Belichick improved his record to 22-6 against rookie quarterbacks. Belichick’s defenses have also managed a regular season 20 touchdown to 41 interception ratio in these games. It’s true that Wilson looked unimpressive in Week 2, but it’s unsurprising when Belichick is involved.
What Went Wrong
When looking at Wilson’s performance on paper, everything went wrong. Wilson had a stat line of 19 completions out of 33 attempts and 210 yards. The most important stats for Wilson are zero touchdowns, four interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 37. Four sacks for a loss of 26 yards round out Wilson’s stat line for Sunday’s game.
The stat line for Wilson paints a picture of sloppy and confusing gameplay, but that was not the case. Watching the game film, Wilson shows aggressive confidence that got him into trouble. The trouble being exemplified by four interceptions.
Breaking Down the Interceptions
Wilson’s first interception came on the second snap for the New York Jets. Wilson attempted to hit wide receiver Corey Davis on a back-shoulder pass in the middle of the field. Patriots defensive back J.C. Jackson had Davis well covered. Wilson had the right idea to attempt the back shoulder throw, as Jackson had over pursued the route. He trusted his arm too much and put the ball close enough to Jackson, allowing him to tip the ball into the air and ultimately intercept the pass.
The second interception came on the fourth snap for the Jets offense. Wilson again attempted to connect with Davis, but this time on a crossing pattern. Davis was only barely open with a defender trailing him and another two defenders bracketing him over top and underneath. Wilson had a tight window to throw the ball. The attempt to complete the pass was aggressive and ended up going through the hands of Davis for an interception.
The third interception came late in the second quarter as the Jets were just outside the red zone. Wilson targeted wide receiver Elijah Moore on this attempt. Moore was running a corner route and had made it behind Patriots defender J.C. Jackson. Wilson attempted to float the pass over Jackson but came up short. This was a ball that Wilson needed to put either perfectly or just out of Moore’s reach.
The final interception came with 11 minutes left in the third quarter. Wilson was aggressive again as he attempted a deep pass. There were two receivers in the area, but he overthrew both. This final interception was the biggest miss by Wilson on the day. The throw was the most off-target and Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty had an easy interception fall into his lap.
Wilson showed a lot of confidence in himself and his play-making abilities. He made aggressive pushes downfield that ended in many mistakes being made. Four interceptions made Zach Wilson look unimpressive in his Week 2 start. Wilson and the New York Jets look to bounce back next week against the Denver Broncos.
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