Jets takeaways from 25-6 loss to Patriots, including Zach Wilson's brutal four interceptions

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·6 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Zach Wilson looks up after interception
Zach Wilson looks up after interception

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Jets fans who were dreaming of a glorious new era woke up on Sunday inside Zach Wilsons nightmare.

The much-anticipated home debut of the Jets’ latest franchise quarterback was about as big a disaster as anyone could have imagined. The 22-year-old was picked off on his first two pass attempts and ended up throwing four interceptions overall. That’s one more than he threw all of last season at BYU.

So yes, it’s on him that the Jets welcomed back their fans to the Meadowlands with an ugly, 25-6 loss to the New England Patriots. And by the fourth quarter, the fans were letting the kid have it with a chorus of boos.

Maybe someday this will just be a blip on the radar of a great career. But not today.

It’s hard to describe how stunningly bad Wilson looked for most of the day, especially since everything else seemed to be working. The Jets’ offensive line that so badly failed him in the opener gave him decent protection. The running game was working, too. And the defense seemed to hang on as long as it could, even though it kept being forced back out on the field.

Yet Wilson finished with numbers that don’t really tell the story of how bad he was: 19-of-30 for 210 yards, and of course, those four interceptions.

How bad was it? Here’s the breakdown of the four picks:

No. 1: Just a terrible decision. He was looking for Corey Davis over the middle, but he was well-covered by Patriots corner J.C. Jackson. It was an easy deflection for Jackson, who ended up with the ball after it deflected off someone else.

No. 2: This was only partially Wilson’s fault. He rolled right and ignored receiver Elijah Moore who was open for a short pass that would’ve gone for about 5 yards. Instead, he threw deeper to Davis, but he threw it a bit high. The pass went right through Davis’ hands and was picked off by safety Adrian Phillips. A bad decision perhaps, though a No. 1 receiver like Davis should have caught that ball.

No. 3: Just bad all around. Wilson saw Moore down along the sidelines inside the 10, but he was covered tightly by Jackson. When the pass was underthrown, Jackson was the only one who had a chance to catch it. And he did.

No. 4: The worst. Wilson looked like he was throwing a Hail Mary from his own 20. He was looking at Moore down the left sidelines, but his throw was too far and too inside and landed easily in the hands of safety Devin McCourty, who was the only person even close to the ball.

The Patriots, not surprisingly, scored off three of those picks, for a total of 16 points.

And it was made even worse by the fact that, on the other end of the field, Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones looked terrific. He went 22-of-30 for 186 yards and never seemed even close to throwing an interception.

By the fourth quarter, it had turned ugly. Wilson was overthrowing wide open receivers and the fans that hadn’t already left were showering him with boos. It was brutal in every way. Just absolutely brutal.

Here are a few more takeaways from the disappointing home debut of the new (don’t call us the “same old”) Jets …

- This was a heck of a turn-around game for the Jets’ offensive line that got destroyed a week ago in Carolina and let Wilson get battered. This time, the pass protection was good – at least until the fourth quarter when it started to crumble a bit -- and the run-blocking was even better. There were plenty of decent holes for the Jets’ running backs to hit. They ended up rushing for 152 yards, led by rookie Michael Carter’s 59 yards on 11 carries.

- The defense did its best to keep the Jets in this game early. They knew the Patriots were going to “dink and dunk” their way down the field, and they did. But the Jets managed to get good pressure on Jones, especially early, sacking him three times. They gave up a few too many “explosive plays” than they would’ve liked, but they only let the Patriots in the end zone once in the first half.

-The Jets’ second half defense, though? Just not good at all. It started with a 26-yard touchdown run by Damien Harris where he broke seven tackles and carried about three Jets into the end zone. It was a clinic on how not to tackle, really, and the start of a half that featured a lot of busted coverages, missed tackles and generally just bad play.

- After Wilson completed his first two passes of the game (to the right team), the Jets had a 1st-and-goal at the 8-yard line. But new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur’s play-calling from there wasn’t good. The Jets ran three plays right up in the middle, and predictably ended up settling for a field goal. The first two runs were fine, since the running game was working. But on the third, it was clear the Patriots defense had stacked the line. Wilson had gotten some rhythm and deserved at least one chance, maybe on a play-action, to make a pass into the end zone.

- Davis, the Jets’ No. 1 receiver, was only targeted five times with just two catches for eight yards. He’s clearly got to be more involved than that.

- A very bright side for the Jets: LB C.J. Mosley had a strong game in just his second full game since 2018. He led the Jets with 10 tackles and seemed to be all over the field. In a defense that has been ravaged by injuries, especially to veterans, they need him to have a big season.

- WR Jamison Crowder was a surprise inactive for this game. He was just returning from the Reserves/COVID-19 list and he was symptomatic, plus he was dealing with a groin injury that had him limited at practice late in the week. Maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise, but both he and Saleh made it sound like he was ready to play. Presumably, he wasn’t fully recovered from one of his ailments.

- The curious case of WR Denzel Mims got more curious when he was inactive on Sunday, one week after he was on the field for only three snaps in the opener. It was weird enough in the opener, considering Crowder and Keelan Cole were out. Then, when he got on the field, he caught a 40-yard pass – the Jets’ longest play of the day. But now, even with Crowder out, Mims can’t even dress for the game? That’s a big fall for the 2020 second-round pick and it’s hard to blame it all on the bout with food poisoning he had during the spring. Saleh said last week that Mims needs to do a better job at learning all of the receiver positions, not just his normal spot on the outside. That sounded like a coaching telling his player to “Learn the playbook”. At this point, that seems like the reason Mims has fallen out of favor so fast.