The New York Jets took Zach Wilson second overall in the draft because they expect him to be the face of the franchise for years.
The road has been rocky so far, but most experts expected the team to have growing pains under first-year head coach Robert Saleh. Their next test will be a rematch with the Patriots on the road, with current NFL odds having them as 6.5-point underdogs.
Coming off of their bye week should help the team as they prepare for a stingy Patriots defense. But will Zach Wilson fare any better than he did in the first matchup?
Let’s take a look at what’s to come for the young New York Jets quarterback.
Zach Wilson So Far
The New York Jets have trailed for the majority of the season to this point. As a result, Wilson has thrown the ball a bit more than anticipated.
He has completed 57.3% of his passes for 1,117 yards through five games. Zach Wilson’s stats also include just four touchdowns to 9 interceptions.
Wilson is averaging 34.2 pass attempts per game and 6.5 yards per attempt. He faces pressure regularly, though, as he has been sacked 18 times on the season.
First New England Game
Zach Wilson and the New York Jets struggled mightily against the Patriots at home this year.
It was by far the worst game of his career to this point. He threw for 210 yards and tossed four interceptions. He got sacked four times to match and had a 37.0 quarterback rating. He also could only connect with top receiver Corey Davis twice for just 5 yards.
A second chance may offer redemption, but Bill Belichick’s defenses are notoriously tough on rookies.
Belichick’s Patriots Defenses Against Rookies
Since Belichick took over as the New England head coach, rookie quarterbacks have gone 6-22 against the Patriots. In those 28 games, the quarterbacks are averaging 197.3 yards per game.
The last two rookies to face the Patriots twice in a season were Geno Smith and Ryan Tannehill. In Smith’s second game against them, he only threw for 19 more yards on two more completions. In Tannehill’s, he completed seven more passes for 49 more yards, and it was also on the road.
2021 Patriots Defense
Currently, the Patriots sit in the top-10 for several defensive stats. However, their numbers against the pass are particularly impressive so far.
They’ve allowed the fifth-fewest yards through the air heading into their game against the Cowboys. They’ve also racked up 13 sacks through five games, which is 7th in the league.
On the one hand, they’ve played four of the worst passing offenses in the league so far, including the Jets. But, on the other hand, they held the Bucs to their lowest passing yardage total of the season, with the assist of some rain.
Will Wilson Light Them Up?
Seeing them a second time with an extra week of preparation should result in modest improvement. That said, I can’t see Zach Wilson getting more than 240 yards this time around.
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