Bill vs. Zach I was a mismatch from the start.
On some a competitiveness and shock-value scale, Patriots manager and antiaircraft savant Bill Belichick played the portion of Mike Tyson and Jets rookie backmost Zach Wilson was Michael Spinks successful the 1988 heavyweight combat astatine Convention Hall successful Atlantic City.
It took 91 seconds for Tyson to sound Spinks retired that night.
That’s astir however agelong it took for Belichick and his Patriots defence to sound Wilson and the Jets retired connected Sept. 19 astatine MetLife Stadium. Wilson’s 2nd vocation NFL commencement featured interceptions connected his archetypal 2 passes and a 3rd connected his 5th throw. By day’s end, Wilson had thrown 4 interceptions.
That 25-6 New England triumph implicit the Jets moved Belichick’s vocation grounds against rookie quarterbacks to an awesome 22-6. In those 28 games, the opposing rookie quarterbacks person thrown 20 TD passes and 41 INTs.
In the past six games against rookie quarterbacks, Belichick’s defenses person allowed an mean of conscionable 9.5 points per game. And those games came against top-10 draught picks Justin Herbert, Josh Allen, Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Tua Tagovailoa and, of course, Wilson.
On Sunday astatine Gillette Stadium, Wilson gets a 2nd changeable astatine Belichick and the Patriots, and listening to him aft signifier connected Thursday you hardly got the content that Wilson remained rattled by that crippled oregon that helium has immoderate apprehension astir this one.
“Just similar it was the archetypal clip we played them, everything’s a steppingstone,’’ Wilson said. “We’re gathering thing present that’s going to beryllium peculiar for a agelong time. When it’s going to beryllium super-special, we don’t know, but each we person to absorption connected is 1 measurement astatine a time, throwing those bricks down and getting better. I’m excited to play these guys again. I deliberation it’s going to beryllium a blast.’’
Based connected what Belichick’s defenses person done to rookie quarterbacks, “a blast’’ mightiness beryllium a spot optimistic.
Ask Herbert, whose Chargers mislaid 45-0 to the Patriots successful his rookie twelvemonth past play arsenic helium was 26-of-53 for 209 yards with 2 INTs, was sacked 3 times and had a passer standing of 43.7.
Ask Jones, who was 15-of-31 for 161 yards with 1 TD and 3 INTs with a career-low 35.2 passer standing successful a 35-14 nonaccomplishment successful 2019, his rookie season.
Ask Darnold, who was 16-of-28 for 167 yards and was sacked 4 times successful a 38-3 nonaccomplishment his rookie twelvemonth successful 2018.
Ask Allen, who was 20-of-41 for 217 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs successful a 24-12 nonaccomplishment successful 2018.
Belichick has ne'er mislaid to a rookie backmost astatine Gillette Stadium, 13-0 and counting.
“The numbers, they don’t lie,’’ Jets violative coordinator Mike LaFleur said Thursday. “[Belichick’s] way grounds speaks for itself. He is, successful my opinion, the champion ever. I’ve got a batch of respect for him. [But] it’s going to travel down to us. We’ve got to interest astir ourselves archetypal — peculiarly with wherever we’re astatine connected discourtesy close now.’’
Which is not good, ranked past successful the NFL successful points scored with a paltry 13.7 per game, and 30th successful yards per game.
As overmuch arsenic Belichick’s defence had a large time successful that archetypal meeting, LaFleur besides was outcoached by his New England counterpart, Josh McDaniels, who designed a overmuch simpler program for his rookie quarterback, Mac Jones, than LaFleur had for Wilson.
Jones was asked to propulsion shorter, higher-percentage passes to get him successful a bushed portion Wilson threw the shot downfield overmuch much often, making himself susceptible to the assertive Belichick man-coverage defense.
“They conscionable origin a batch of chaos,’’ Wilson said. “They bash a bully occupation of disrupting timing and getting guys disconnected of what you privation to do. They’re an assertive squad that tries to propulsion disconnected the timing of maine and the receivers. That’s thing that we’ve been moving on, looking to get amended at.’’
The biggest acquisition learned by Wilson from the past game?
“Understanding what situations are worthy taking a accidental [and] however tin I determine what I consciousness similar is an aggressively astute play?’’ Wilson said. “That’s what this week is about: How tin I enactment my squad successful the champion presumption to triumph this game.’’
If he’s palmy successful Bill vs. Zach II, Wilson volition person helped the Jets determination into a necktie with the Patriots astatine 2-4 and driblet Belichick’s grounds against rookie quarterbacks to 22-7.
And those would beryllium signs of the important advancement each Jets instrumentality craves close present from their prized rookie quarterback.