Patriots

Jets' Zach Wilson insists he wasn't 'seeing ghosts' vs. Pats

Patriots

You knew the comparisons were coming.

Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson had a nightmare performance against the New England Patriots on Sunday, throwing four interceptions with zero touchdowns in New York's 25-6 loss at MetLife Stadium.

Wilson's stat line wasn't dissimilar to that of former Jets QB Sam Darnold in a 2019 matchup with the Patriots during which Darnold admitting he was "seeing ghosts" while struggling against New England's aggressive defense.

Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy was among many who wondered if Wilson experienced similar distress Sunday, but the rookie QB was adamant that wasn't how things went down.

These updated rookie QB stats against Belichick's Pats teams are crazy

"No. Most definitely not," Wilson said in his postgame press conference when asked if he was "seeing ghosts" on the field.

So, what did Wilson see that caused him to throw four picks, two of which came came on his first two pass attempts?

"We understood what personnel they were going to throw at us," Wilson said. "We understood what their base defense, nickel and dime packages and all that were going to look like.

"It really comes down to execution. ... I feel like we knew what they were giving us. We've just got to execute."

Wilson seemed intent on not giving the Patriots too much credit, explaining that he felt prepared to face Bill Belichick's defense but simply didn't deliver.

 

"I wouldn't say it was anything we weren't ready for or necessarily didn't see tonight," Wilson added. "Protection-wise, pass game-wise, any of it. I thought we ran the ball well, we protected well, and we've just got to execute."

The BYU product did make a handful of strong throws that proved why the Jets took him with No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. But the majority of his interceptions were simply bad throws, and Sunday was a reminder that Wilson has a long way to go if he wants to lead the Jets back to relevance.

And no matter how he frames his Week 2 effort, Wilson's brutal effort makes him the latest rookie QB to be tormented by a Belichick defense.