I about fell off the toilet seat at 4 a.m. reading NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah trying to loosely compare Jets’ quarterback (QB) Zach Wilson to Patriots’ QB Mac Jones during the first month of the season.
There is no comparison.
Jones’ first month is so far superior on game film to Wilson’s performance, it is laughable.
Jones has looked more like Tom Brady, while Zach Wilson has looked more like Johnny Manziel.
Jones has looked polished, poised and in totally in command of New England’s offense, while Wilson has looked overwhelmed by NFL defenses throwing 8 interceptions and getting sacked 16 times in four games. It could have even been worse as some of Wilson’s other passes fell incomplete after touching defender’s hands.
Actually, I am sorry for the comparison Johnny Football, you only threw 2 interceptions and only got sacked 3 times in your first 4 games (espn.com).
Here is where there really is no comparison between Jones and Wilson, ball placement.
Jones has consistently thrown the ball most often where only his receivers could get it, while Wilson has only looked good about half of the time, just like he did at BYU. This is further Illustrated by the fact Jones completion percentage this season is at 70% while Wilson is at 56.8% (ganggreennation.com). Jones has been aiming it at his receivers’ hands, while Wilson has been aiming at his receivers’ feet one too many times.
While I really like Jones and believe Wilson will turn out to be a bust for the New York Jets, I am not saying Jones is the next Tom Brady by any stretch. There is no next Tom Brady. Jones does not have the same chip on his shoulder. However, there have been many times I have had to rub my eyes because watching Jones in the pocket reminds me so much of when Brady played for the Patriots. They look very similar in the pocket – – the body type, poise and the mannerisms.
Wilson looks like he will be lucky to make it through the season at the rate he is getting sacked (has been on pace to set a new NFL record), and even if he does, how many interceptions will it take before his confidence begins to slide down the hill of first-rounders who did not make it?
In my 40 years of watching the game, Jones turned in the most impressive first month I have ever seen for a rookie passer, while Wilson has looked horrible most of the time. Yes, Wilson did look better against Tennessee, but that is one game – – one out of four. That one game is the obsessive focal point of Jeremiah’s entire argument?
Now I do understand the mainstream media wants Wilson to succeed more than Jones, which was also obvious pre-draft, and it is what drove where the two were actually selected. It is so obvious, I wonder if they are getting paid off to push this narrative?
I can not wait until Jan. 2 when Wilson (if he is still standing) has to face the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jones looked like a 10-year polished vet when he faced them. Jones was sliding around the pocket avoiding the pass rush, as he went toe-to-toe with Tom Brady. Jones had an answer for just about everything veteran defensive coordinator Todd Bowles threw at him.
Keep in mind this same Todd Bowles made Patrick Mahomes look like he didn’t even know what he was doing in the Super Bowl.
Jones has done a superb job of running the Patriots’ offense so far, complete with a look and feel of confidence and swag about him. Meanwhile, Wilson has looked more like a scared boy playing a man’s game while his mommy has held his hand.
Perhaps the best comparison was when Jones played Wilson and the Patriots won 25-6. Jones was 22/30 for 186 yards (0 TD, 0 INT). Wilson was 19/33 for 210 yards (0 TD, 4 INT).
No surprise, that is exactly how I predicted this game would turn before the draft. On their college game film, Jones looked like a polished pro-ready quarterback with outstanding ball placement (see my pre-draft Jones scouting report). Wilson looked like he would become an unorthodox NFL interception machine, as his receivers were diving and jumping all over the place catching his erratically placed passes (see my pre-draft Wilson scouting report).
I guess this is also the difference between myself and Daniel Jeremiah.
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.