Could Zach Wilson notch his inaugural win at the professional level against a legendary head coach in Bill Belichick?
Zach Wilson and the New York Jets will look to right the wrongs against the division-rival Patriots Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET. The rookie quarterback is coming off his regular-season debut in which he threw for 258 yards, two touchdowns, and one pick in a loss to Carolina.
The Panthers defense was a tough matchup…Bill Belichick will be even tougher.
The legendary Patriots head coach is a nightmare for rookie quarterbacks; he’ll do whatever it takes to get in Wilson’s head and rattle him into making mistakes.
Will the first-year signal-caller overcome this and notch his first career victory?
New England Patriots (0-1) @ New York Jets (0-1)
Sunday, September 19, 2021 — 1:00 PM EDT
Radio: ESPN NY 98.7FM
Notable Game Props
(Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Jets Total Points: Over-17.5 (-115), Under-17.5 (-115)
- Patriots Total Points: Over-24.5 (-105), Under-24.5 (-125)
- First Team to Score: Jets (+130), Patriots (-160)
- Last Team to Score: Jets (+105), Patriots (-135)
- Jets Total TDs: Over-1.5 (-180), Under-1.5 (+140)
- Patriots Total TDs: Over-2.5 (-155), Under-2.5 (+115)
Player Prop Picks (Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
Jets WR Corey Davis Under-54.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
One of the ways Bill Belichick will prevent Zach Wilson from constructing an impressive performance is by taking away his top target.
He will test the rookie; he will make him go through his progressions and look towards his second or third read.
Therefore, expect Corey Davis to stay under 54.5 receiving yards.
Davis, who the Jets signed in the offseason to a three-year deal, is Wilson’s top target and caught five balls for 97 yards and two touchdowns against Carolina last week.
His production total should not reach the same level in Week 2.
Jets QB Zach Wilson Over-13.5 Rushing Yards (-120)
Expect the Patriots defense to bring the pressure in order to force Wilson to escape the pocket on various occasions. Any good defense will do that to a rookie quarterback.
This should pave the way for Wilson to scramble a few times throughout the matchup, leading him to conjure up at least 14 yards on the ground.
The first-year player carries the ability to go off-script and use his legs, so there won’t be any concern in regard to the yardage he could gain when scrambling.
A $120 wager should earn you a profit of $100 — this is one of the better plays you’ll see at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers Over-4.5 Receptions (+100)
Jakobi Meyers was able to rack up six receptions against a strong Dolphins defense that employs All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard and a productive pass rush that hit quarterback Mac Jones nine times.
Thus, it’s highly possible Meyers could reel in at least five catches against a banged-up Jets defense.
It’s unclear just how reliable this Jets cornerback unit (which includes Bryce Hall and rookie Brandin Echols) can be and New York additionally lost safety Lamarcus Joyner for the season. Cornerback Isaiah Dunn also popped up on the injury report this week with a shoulder issue.
Players to Watch
One of the Jets’ most hyped players coming out of training camp was rookie wide receiver Elijah Moore, who the team drafted in the second round.
Moore missed all three preseason games due to injury, which made his debut against the Panthers last week all the more intriguing.
However, the first-year player failed to deliver, catching just one ball for negative-three yards on four targets.
Moore is hungry for production and even hungrier for a win on Sunday.
Expect the Jets to get the rookie more involved in the offensive game plan and for Moore to utilize his sheer athleticism to make plays in the open field.
Wilson developing an in-game rapport with Moore like he did with Corey Davis against Carolina could work wonders for this Jets offense as a whole.
Again, all eyes will be on the young quarterback as he faces his toughest task to date.
As was already mentioned, Bill Belichick is a scary matchup for rookie quarterbacks. He’ll attempt to pressure Wilson, take away his top target, and force him to make mistakes all game.
How Wilson responds should tell Jets fans a lot about the quarterback their team drafted in the first round.
Will he remain poised in the pocket? Will he make the right throws? If he needs to escape the pocket and go off-script, will he make the right decisions? Will he be able to go through his progressions and utilize his second or third target if the Patriots take Corey Davis out of the game?
Wilson must show up on Sunday — Bill and the Pats defense will have their way with him if he doesn’t.
The Jets have placed Mekhi Becton on injured reserve and the second-year left tackle will undergo knee surgery. He’ll miss 4-8 weeks.
Thus, George Fant is set to perform on Zach Wilson’s blindside.
The Jets tested Fant this summer by bringing in Morgan Moses on a one-year deal. Fant and Moses underwent a competition in training camp for the starting right tackle role, of which the former emerged victorious.
Now, Fant will have a larger responsibility on the left side against a Bill Belichick defense; he must impress amid Becton’s absence and make sure his quarterback has time to operate.
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