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NY Jets: Why fans shouldn't panic about QB Zach Wilson

Allen Settle
NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com via Imagn
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The Zach Wilson era has not gotten off to the hottest of starts. The rookie signal-caller has had an up-and-down first two weeks with the NY Jets.

The union between the Jets and their No. 2 overall pick hit rock bottom during the quarterback's second start. A high-profile matchup between New York's longtime AFC East rival, the New England Patriots, drew groans from the fan base.

After being tormented by the Tom Brady era, New York had hopes that this contest could be the mark of a change in power.

The Patriots, like the Jets, were also employing a rookie quarterback. Former Alabama star Mac Jones represented a new-look New England team.

While they still have a talented overall roster, perhaps Wilson, who was the superior colligate prospect, could step up and slay the rival team. Or so fans hoped.

NY Jets QB Zach Wilson had a rough Week 2 performance

Fast forward a few short days, and this dream has ended in a dramatic fashion. At least for now. New England rocked the young Jets to the tune of 25-6. Worse yet, Wilson looked completely lost during his second start.

The former BYU Cougar completed 19-of-33 pass attempts for 210 yards. Oh, and FOUR interceptions. With no touchdowns. It was a rough start for the first-year pro. The contest seemed even more frustrating considering Jones' efficient 22-for-30 game.

The four turnovers, in combination with another interception during a Week 1 loss to the Carolina Panthers, have Jets fans frustrated with the team. Some are even beginning to question if New York has invested in another failed quarterback experiment.

While the early-season results are less-than-optimal, there are two key reasons for fans of the Jets to refrain from panic. The first is simple — it's only two games into Wilson's career.

NY Jets fans should not be concerned by Zach Wilson's difficult Week 2

One would be hard-pressed to find a rookie signal-caller that didn't struggle to adjust to the transition from college to the NFL.

Remember, this is the same sport that caused Peyton Manning, an all-time great, champion, and Hall-of-Famer, to set the record for most interceptions by a rookie QB during his inaugural season.

The speed and talent levels are dramatically increased. It will assuredly take more than a small handful of games for Wilson to adapt to the best football league in the world.

While the story of his future is still untold, it is imperative that the Jets reserve their judgment until after Wilson has sufficient time to either succeed or fail properly.

Second, fans should consider the track record of their opponent. While most faithful members of Gang Green desire nothing more than to become contenders in the annual clashes with New England, Bill Belichick has proven to be a mastermind at scheming against rookie quarterbacks.

The longtime Patriots leader holds an incredible 21-6 record against rookie QBs in his Hall of Fame career. Just last season, he held eventual Rookie of the Year and breakout star Justin Herbert to a similar stat line.

The Chargers building block went 26-for-53 with 209 yards and 2 interceptions (43.7 QB rating). He was also sacked three times and New England rolled Los Angeles 45 to 0.

Need more proof? Consider this incredible list of Belichick's accomplishments in similar situations. Eventual stars including Josh Allen, Deshaun Watson, Derek Carr, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and Ben Roethlisberger all suffered the same fate against the Pats' evil genius.

Yet, many rookie quarterbacks have bounced back to make Pro Bowls, win championships, and carve out Hall-of-Fame caliber careers for themselves. And herein lies the reason why Jets fans should avoid the panic button this week.

Wilson is just a few weeks into what promises to be a long NFL career. He's had some growing pains. And fans have every right to be frustrated with the first two weeks. However, the trajectory hasn't changed in any meaningful way.

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Wilson is still the hopeful future at the position. And there is no reason to think any less of him than when he was drafted No. 2 overall. Here's to hoping for steps in the right direction as the young season progresses.

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