Wilson vs Jones: How Wilson will bounce back against Patriots
Zach Wilson is going to get his first crack at a division rival and most importantly, he’s going to understand the rivalry that is the Jets and the Patriots. Except he’s not going against Tom Brady, he’s actually going to establish his own thing with fellow rookie quarterback Mac Jones. Both of them showed impressive performances in their debut, even though Wilson got off to a slow start. Going into this game, I think Wilson has an even better performance than the first.
Last week, the Panthers sacked Wilson six times in a game where he was in duress the entire day. It seemed that on every drop back, the rookie quarterback had someone in his face. The offensive line did not have a good outing, they were never on the same page. They got beat on stunt blitzes and didn’t much favor one on one either. This was the first time all the starters were playing together and it showed, but it wasn’t entirely their fault.
Zach Wilson held the ball too long at times and even made poor protection calls. But things turned around in the second half and had the chance to win the game. If they start the game just like how they performed in the second half, this will be a winnable game for them. For a team that is going to rely on the run game, they didn’t do a good job getting the push to help generate running lanes for the backs. It might be the same case against the Patriots who allowed only 74 rushing yards against the Dolphins last week.
The Jets are going to have to rely on the passing game and without Gilmore, I can see them doing just that. Last week there were a lot of drops by receivers that were catchable balls. Including Elijah Moore who had a tremendous training camp, underperformed in his first NFL game. These receivers need to help Wilson out by making those catchable balls, fortunately the team will get back Crowder and Cole who were both out last game.
The return of those two will definitely help out the rookie quarterback, if I’m LaFluer I would start the game up with some short throws to help build confidence for these guys then gravitate upwards. Elijah Moore has the ability to make people miss in the open field, set him up with some screens and give him a chance to break some tackles.
Lastly Zach Wilson needs to take control of the offense, make the necessary reads and don’t turn the ball over. Don’t play the hero, if there’s nothing open then throw the ball away. Live to play another down, 3rd and 5 is much more achievable than 3rd and 10.