Daniel Jeremiah thinks highly of Zach Wilson’s Week 4 performance
One month down, many more to go. At least that’s what fans of the New York Jets and New England Patriots certainly hope.
This Friday marks exactly one month from the day that the NFL careers of Zach Wilson and Mac Jones respectively began in East Rutherford and Foxboro. Each rookie, chosen in the first round of April’s NFL draft proceedings, has dealt with sour early returns in the standings columns but left a lasting impression over the Week 4 proceedings.
Wilson threw for 297 and two touchdowns in an overtime win over Tennessee, the first of his NFL career. Jones came up short on the scoreboard but held his own during one of the most anticipated regular-season contests in NFL history, tallying 275 and a matching pair of scores against former Patriots great Tom Brady’s new comrades in Tampa Bay.
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah appeared on Rich Eisen’s eponymous program to discuss the freshman divisional developments. When it came to Wilson, Jeremiah described the win over the Titans as something Jets fans can “dream on.”
“(Sunday) was by far is by far his best performance, I thought,” Jeremiah said of Wilson. “This guy’s got a chance to be really really good.”
Despite Wilson’s strong performance that allowed the Jets (1-3) to end a season-opening three-game losing streak, Jeremiah was particularly impressed by a self-assessment toward one of his shortcomings.
Wilson was somewhat hard on himself over the fact that he afforded the Titans an extra overtime possession after failing to get the Jets in the end zone on their possession in the period. Jeremiah was inspired by the way Wilson admitted he had room to develop despite earning a historic win.
“One of the first things he said was, ‘You know, hey, look, I should have ended this thing and regulation, I have to be better … I had an opportunity there to get that done and I didn’t do it’,” Jeremiah told Eisen. “But he understands that he’s got a lot of room and space to grow. But I thought that was … a game you can dream on when you see some of the things that kid can do.”
Jeremiah noted that he was impressed with the way receiver Jamison Crowder, making his 2021 debut, and the Jets’ offensive line also came through for Wilson, who was further praised for making plays even when the pocket collapsed.
He stressed that it’ll be important for the Jets to continue to build the wall in front of Wilson as well as surround him with more veteran weapons, an endeavor begun with the signings of Corey Davis and Keelan Cole last offseason.
Eisen and Jeremiah agreed that Jones could carry on in the New England tradition of short passing popularized during the Brady era. The latter reverted to baseball references when discussing their career trajectories.
“(Jones) would be kind (to go) 4-for-5 with three singles, and then you go ‘okay that’s fantastic,'” Jeremiah said of the Patriots thrower, who is averaging 6.3 yards per attempt. “But then Zach Wilson can go 1-for-5 with a three-run home run. Then you can have the debate of who impacted the game more.”
Wilson and the Jets return to action on Sunday morning when they battle the Atlanta Falcons in London (9:30 a.m. ET, NFL Network) while Jones’ Patriots partake in the early afternoon slate against Houston (1 p.m. ET, CBS). The Rich Eisen Show is available to stream on Peacock.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags