The energy level was high prior to kickoff and Jets fans were into it before quarterback (QB) Zach Wilson even stepped onto the field.
What happened next?
Wilson became exactly what I predicted before the NFL Draft – – I predicted Wilson would be an “interception machine.” Those were my exact words.
Wilson threw not one…not two…not three…but four interceptions against New England.
This is exactly why I wrote messages to Jets’ owner Mr. Woody Johnson prior to the draft begging him not to select Wilson.
Wilson was one of the most manufactured QB’s I have ever seen in my 40 years of watching the game, when he was coming out of BYU. Whether it was his agent or his public relations firm, the Jets were sold a bill of goods and a false narrative that was not based on game film.
How about QB Sam Darnold – – how did the guy do the Jets threw away so they could go get this ‘generational talent’ instead?
For the second straight week, Darnold looked good for Carolina. This week Darnold went 26/38, 305 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT.
Zach Wilson vs. New England 19/33, 210 yards, 0 TD and 4 INT.
This week – – week two – – is even a poorer reflection on team general manager Joe Douglas, than week one was.
Wilson’s fourth interception was not even close. In baseball terms it looked like a pop fly. He just threw it up for grabs.
However, I am sure there are still Wilson supporters out there who would call me every name in the book even if he had thrown 7 interceptions Sunday, which he could have. Three more passes touched Patriots’ defenders hands before falling harmlessly to the turf.
I knew watching Wilson play on film at BYU he would struggle a lot in the NFL. I used the word, “erratic,” in my pre-draft documented scouting report to describe his ball placement. Wilson’s ball placement at BYU was all over the road at every route level. Receivers were diving, sliding and jumping all over the place. Once again against New England, Wilson’s passes continued to consistently sail high – – which is going to continue to be a problem that is not going to go away. This is who Zach Wilson is. He was able to get away with this kind of crap against a cream-puff schedule in college, but he can not – – and he will not get away with it in the NFL. I have been saying it and I will continue to say it.
Add the four picks today in with the one he tossed vs. the Panthers last week in his NFL debut and that is five interceptions on the season so far.
Add in four more sacks to the six he took last week – – that is 10 sacks in two weeks.
Now let’s do a deep dive into his performance against New England and get to the meat and potatoes. I went back and watched the entire game – – every snap – – on NFL Game Pass. Of course, the announcers tried to pad things for Wilson, as do all Wilson sympathizers. At one point the announcer even said on one of his picks, “Just a matter of Wilson trying to be too aggressive.”
No I am sorry – – correction – – it was another erratic throw by Wilson to be more specific.
Wilson struggled at all three route levels and yes – – I counted he threw two nice looking passes on the day. That is not a franchise QB – – that is a QB who will destroy a franchise. For the most part, on several tries once again Wilson could not hit the broad side of a barn deep, he was inconsistent with his ball placement intermediate and short range as well. The Jets were able to conceal Wilson’s liabilities in the preseason by keeping things conservative and short for the most part, which they can not do any longer. Now, Wilson has to throw the ball downfield and he has not at all shown he can do that consistently – – not even close. It did not take long for the boo-birds to descend on New York’s golden boy either.
I think Boomer Esiason summarized it best and maybe Nate Burleson said it even better at halftime…
“You worry if Zach Wilson is seeing the defense the way he needs to see the defense in order to protect himself, “said Esiason.
“He might be seeing ghosts,” Burelson added.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.