New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson would be sacked six times and hit 10 times in his NFL debut Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. But behind an offensive line subject to both the Carolina Panthers and attrition, the Brigham Young product stayed on the field as a deficit of 16 points trimmed to five in the closing minutes.
The New England Patriots are up next for Wilson.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick offered a brief scouting report on the No. 2 overall pick during his Monday appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.”
“He’s a very athletic player. He had a lot of production in college. The play is kind of never over when he’s got the ball in his hands,” Belichick said. “He can get out of trouble, run. He can make all the throws, got a really good arm. As I said, he’s had a ton of production at BYU, so I’m sure that’ll translate to the NFL here over the course of his career.”
Wilson finished 20-of-37 passing against Carolina after being 6-of-16 at halftime. Along the way arrived 258 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and the loss of star left tackle Mekhi Becton to a reported knee cap dislocation that will require arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage.
Jets wide receivers Braxton Berrios, Corey Davis and Denzel Mims picked up longs of 25, 35 and 40 yards from Wilson on Sunday.
According to Next Gen Stats, only seven quarterbacks around the league averaged more time to throw in Week 1. Only five averaged a higher rate of completed air yards.
“He’s a guy that we’re really going to have to do a good job on the long balls, the intermediate passes, the extended plays and his ability to run with the ball, as well,” Belichick told WEEI. “He’s got some good receivers, good targets and they’ll be opening at home. I’m sure it’ll be plenty of energy down there. We’ll have to match that and play a good football game.”
Sunday’s AFC East meeting at MetLife Stadium is set for 1 p.m. ET.