3 Jets takeaways from disastrous Week 2 loss to Patriots
It was abysmal performance in Week 2 for the New York Jets in their 25-6 loss to the New England Patriots. Sitting at 0-2 on the season, Robert Saleh’s squad will look to bounce back against the Denver Broncos in Week 3.
Here are three Jets takeaways from their loss in Week 2 to the Patriots.
Give it time with Zach Wilson
The rookie out of BYU was miserable against New England and Bill Belichick’s defense. Nobody expected the Jets to take the league by storm this year but losing a game to the Patriots in which the offense didn’t have a touchdown and Zach Wilson threw four interceptions is less than ideal.
Still, patience is the word that needs to be exercised by Jets fans as difficult as it may be.
Trevor Lawrence hasn’t been breezing by opponents in his first two games. Mac Jones has been good, not great by any stretch for the Patriots and the Jets saw that first hand. It takes time for these rookies to settle in and figure things out.
Not everyone can come in and produce what Justin Herbert did last year in his rookie season. When a quarterback is drafted in the first round the expectations are infinitely higher from the jump. Playing in the New York market like Wilson does elevates it even more.
While it’s true that the other rookie quarterbacks that are starting haven’t pieced together quite the disastrous performance that Wilson displayed on Sunday, it’s not panic time for the Jets.
Wilson was brutal against the Patriots, yes, but he isn’t exactly working with a full shelf that has weapons all across the offense. He’ll need to be far better than he was in Week 2 but seeing an eye sore of a game to this extent from a rookie isn’t completely abnormal.
For as electric as Wilson can be, it might help for him to be “boring” at times, something Saleh mentioned after the game against the Patriots.
“It’s just having confidence that it’s OK to play a boring game of football. That’s really it,” Saleh said of Wilson postgame. “He is an electric dude and he’s competitive as crap and he wants to win so bad, But sometimes it’s OK to be boring. That’s probably the biggest lesson from this one.”
Michael Carter will be the future RB1
One positive for the Jets was the play of rookie running back Michael Carter. His stats don’t jump off the page but he was solid against the Patriots racking up 59 yards on the ground on 11 carries and another 29 yards receiving. What did standout was the shiftiness from Carter to make something out of nothing on a couple of different plays.
Michael Carter breaking all the tackles. #TakeFlight
— NFL (@NFL) September 19, 2021
While the Jets will certainly need to keep adding weapons around Wilson as he progresses, Carter has already shown signs of being a keeper for the long haul.
Many had him pegged to go in the second or third round of the 2021 NFL Draft but it wasn’t until the fourth round when the Jets came in and swooped him up.
The approach to bring Carter along slowly and increase his opportunities and reps that way seems to be the smart choice for New York. Again, this isn’t a team expected to compete for a Super Bowl this year so bringing Carter along little by little could pay off in the long run. Plus, Ty Johnson hasn’t looked to shabby himself.
It’s a glimmer of light for Jets fans to takeaway from what was an otherwise deflating performance against the Patriots.
More opportunities are ahead
Over the next five weeks, the Jets will host the Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals and next up is a date with the Denver Broncos.
Denver is off to a 2-0 start but they aren’t labeled or regarded as some unbeatable juggernaut. It won’t be easy playing in that environment in Denver and Teddy Bridgewater has manned the controls pretty well so far as the QB1 for the Broncos. There are opportunities for the Jets to gain some confidence and carry it over in the coming weeks however.
The Falcons are 0-2 and have largely looked miserable and after a Week 1 overtime win against the Minnesota Vikings, the Bengals laid an egg in Chicago against the Bears.
Sometimes the hardest win to get is the first one and for Wilson and the Jets and even Saleh, that could be the case this year. The schedule is somewhat favorable in the coming weeks though, and New York should be able to provide a spark or two across that time span.
It hasn’t been pretty so far for the Jets and it’s possible the learning curve for Wilson could take a little longer. Theories about him being the next in line of New York quarterbacks drafted early only to blow up are super premature. Fans want results instantly and it’s hard to knock them for that. Giving Wilson time and patience to figure it out will be critical moving forward though.