Zach Wilson's introduction to Jets fans at MetLife Stadium was a home opener to forget.
The rookie quarterback threw four interceptions on Sunday afternoon in an ugly 25-6 loss to the visiting New England Patriots.
Both of Wilson's first two pass attempts were picked off. At the time of his fourth interception, he had four completions on the day. The BYU product forced passes down the field, making ill-advised decisions and overly-aggressive throws throughout. Even some of the easy ones, with receivers open, fell incomplete.
It took no time at all for Wilson's afternoon to start to unravel. On New York's first drive of the game, running back Ty Johnson scampered for eight yards. Then, Wilson dropped back and tried to find his favorite target—Corey Davis—over the middle. The ball was tipped up and intercepted by J.C. Jackson.
Just a few minutes later, New York's second drive of the day began in the exact same fashion. Wilson handed the ball off to Michael Carter on first down, leading to a 13-yard gain. On the very next play, Wilson threw high to Davis down the right sideline, watching helplessly as the ball slipped through the wideout's hands and into the outstretched arms of Adrian Phillips.
Last week in Carolina, Wilson and Davis connected five times for 97 yards and two touchdowns. On Sunday at MetLife Stadium, Davis finished with just two grabs for eight yards. He didn't have a catch until the final minute of the third quarter.
On the other side, Mac Jones was dinking and dunking, finding his check downs and waiting patiently for his targets to find space. New York's defense kept the Jets in this game through the first half, but New England's clinical execution eventually took a toll. Jones wound up with 186 yards through the air on 22-for-30 passing. The Jets didn't force any turnovers.
Jones wasn't explosive and there weren't many highlight-reel plays, but the fellow first-rounder stuck to his team's game plan. Screen passes, short routes and a heavy dose of the run game ate time off the clock, chipping away on several hard-fought drives.
After Wilson was pressured consistently in his debut last Sunday, pass protection really wasn't an excuse against New England. Wilson wasn't sacked until midway through the third quarter, often having ample time to throw when he dropped back to pass.
His fourth interception of the game was indicative of the day as a whole. Wilson launched a deep ball to the far sideline in the vicinity of Davis and rookie Elijah Moore. Neither of those wideouts came close to the pass, though. It was picked off with ease by Devin McCourty.
Nobody expected Wilson's rookie year to be perfect. Even in a performance like this one, there are still flashes in the pan that show Wilson's potential. The rookie finished with 210 passing yards, going 19-for-33 through the air.
If the Jets want to avoid another brutal season with only a few wins, however, they need their franchise quarterback to take care of the football and put together productive drives.
It's back to the drawing board for head coach Robert Saleh and his staff as Gang Green tries to flush their 11th straight loss to the Patriots and get ready for next week's matchup with the Denver Broncos.
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