Sunday brings us an AFC East division battle headlined by a pair of rookie quarterbacks. Zach Wilson and Mac Jones each have a start under their belts, and will be the subject of numerous comparisons for the next few years.
Just a year ago, neither was a likely first rounder. Zach Wilson was one of the 2020 college season’s breakout stars, putting up huge numbers at BYU. Mac Jones, meanwhile, took a huge step forward after filling in for the injured Tua Tagovailoa in late 2019, finishing as a Heisman finalist and leading Alabama to a national championship.
Both quarterbacks are still looking for their first win. Wilson was 20-for-37 for 258 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 19-14 New York Jets loss to the Carolina Panthers. He was sacked six times in that game, which is a major concern. Jones, meanwhile, completed 29-of-39 throws for 281 yards and a touchdown.
Jones’ debut was the better one statistically, but Wilson still has plenty of people excited. New England Patriots veteran linebacker Dont’a Hightower is among those impressed with what he’s seen from the Jets rookie so far, saying he has “a cannon.” Wilson connected on six passes of 20 or more yards in Week 1.
Dont'a Hightower on Zach Wilson: You can see why this kid had some much hype coming out of college. He has a cannon.
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) September 16, 2021
“He’s comfortable, he doesn’t mind getting hit,” Hightower continued. “Just got to do a good job of being on him.”
Zach Wilson was certainly introduced to physical NFL defense pretty quickly with that Panthers game last week. The Patriots will look to dial things up, after only getting to Tagovailoa twice last week in the 17-16 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Sunday’s game at Metlife Stadium kicks off at 1 p.m. ET on CBS.