Zach Wilson’s New York Jets home-opener turns out disastrous
- New York Jets 6 (0-2)
- New England Patriots 25 (1-1)
- NFL, Week 2, Final, Box Score
- MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Zach Wilson‘s MetLife Stadium debut turned out to be nothing short of a disaster. The BYU product’s four interceptions led to 16 points for the New England Patriots, who earned their 11th straight victory over the New York Jets in 25-6 fashion.
Despite the Jets outgaining the Pats by a 336-260 total, the day was, alas, defined by Wilson’s rookie mistakes.
The second overall pick of April’s draft was besieged by a relentless New England defense. J.C. Jackson takeaways sandwiched another by Adrian Phillips in the first half, neutralizing the Jets’ offense.
JC Jackson INTs are back. #ForeverNE pic.twitter.com/BN3Lm1ZYn0
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) September 19, 2021
Yo Adrian!@Phillips_17 with our second INT of the day!
📺:: @NFLonCBS / Patriots app pic.twitter.com/gwkFT5K7qS
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 19, 2021
JC Jackson is an interception machine… AGAIN. #ForeverNE
📺: #NEvsNYJ on CBS
📱: NFL app pic.twitter.com/cc0Bj7hUxU
— NFL (@NFL) September 19, 2021
To their credit, the Jets their defense limited the damage brought about by Wilson’s brutal Garden State debut, at least in the earlier stages. They made sure that Mac Jones’ first MetLife Stadium experience was a scary one.
The Jets earned three sacks, tripling their total from last week at Carolina. Marcus Maye, John Franklin-Myers, and Sheldon Rankins earned the takedowns, with Franklin-Myers’ tally forcing a recovered Jones fumble.
Marcus Maye off the edge for the third-down sack, and so far, #Jets defense has been much more "fancy" overall. More stunts, slants with run in mind, and a few blitzes with loose coverage on the back end. @nyjetspic.twitter.com/ROaRA3SGRp
— Jets X-Factor (@jetsxfactor) September 19, 2021
New England did eventually break through on a six-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a seven-yard scoring run by James White.
Field goals made up the rest of the scoring, as Nick Folk split the uprights twice. Matt Ammendola capped off a 59-yard drive for the Jets with a short 21-yard triple.
James White is having himself a day. Gets into the end zone here. 🔥(Via @BenBrownPL)
— Pats Buzz (@PatsBuzz) September 19, 2021
The Jets’ plans to plot another second-half recovery were thwarted by another Wilson interception, this one landing in the arms of Devin McCourty.
It took the Patriots only two plays to capitalize, as Damien Harris withstood several New York tackles to power through to a 26-yard score.
Intelligence is what takes a player from good to GREAT. Watch #32 for the #Patriots.
The three time pro bowler Devin McCourty tip the ball to his teammate for the interception knowing it wasn’t his ball to catch. pic.twitter.com/1D5FHbOYS2
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) September 19, 2021
DAMIEN HARRIS WENT BEAST MODE pic.twitter.com/oLfkUED3ic
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) September 19, 2021
In all, the Mike LaFleur-led offense played much better this time around. In completely contrasting style, the Jets offensive line and rest of the offense had to fight through Wilson’s poor performance—as opposed to Wilson fighting through in Carolina.
Wilson finished the day 19 of 33 for 210 yards and those four killer interceptions. If not for garbage-time yards, his box score would have looked way worse. Jones finished an efficient 22 of 30 for no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Michael Carter enjoyed a productive day with a team-high 59 yards on 11 carries. Braxton Berrios led the way in the air with 73 yards on seven grabs.
Robert Saleh, Zach Wilson and the young New York Jets will now go back to the drawing board prior to another tough matchup in Week 3 against the Denver Broncos on the road.
Kickoff will come your way at 4:05 p.m. ET and can be seen on CBS.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags