The home debut for New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson was one to forget. The No. 2 overall pick looked totally overmatched against the New England Patriots and fell to 0-2 as a starter in the NFL.
Wilson ended the game with four interceptions, two of which came on his first two attempts of the game. All four of his turnovers came in his first 10 throws of the game.
The Jets fell 25-6 to the Patriots and Wilson was booed by the home crowd in his first game at MetLife Stadium. Some impatient fans started to wonder if it was already time to pull the plug on the rookie’s stint under center with the team.
However, a handful of analysts, including Rex Ryan came rushing to Wilson’s defense. The former Jets head coach pleaded with the team’s fanbase to stick by their rookie and instead laid the blame for Sunday’s performance at the feet of New York’s coaching staff.
“He’s the most talented guy that the Jets have had playing the position since Joe Namath. Mark it down, I’m telling you, it’s the truth,” Ryan said on Get Up Monday. “So now as a coach you gotta look at the [game plan].
Rex Ryan is STRONGLY defending Zach Wilson after the rookie threw 4 Int against the Patriots.
"He's the most talented guy that the Jets have had playing the position since Joe Namath! Mark it down, I'm telling you it's the truth!" pic.twitter.com/cuqkvimGMz
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) September 20, 2021
Ryan made a key point that the Jets seemed to ask a lot of Wilson on Sunday, against one of the most talented defenses in the NFL. Rather than run the football on the first few plays of the game, New York came out throwing early, which didn’t allow the rookie any time to get into a rhythm.
That being said, Wilson will need to clean up his play over the next few weeks if he hopes to meet the lofty bar set out for him by Ryan and others.
The Jets aren’t expected to compete in 2021, but will want to see their young quarterback show progress and prove that he was worth the No. 2 pick in the draft.