This Sunday at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a new chapter of the Patriots-Jets rivalry will begin. Both teams will be lead by their respective rookie quarterbacks. Mac Jones and Zach Wilson will be the starters for their respective teams, marking the first time that both teams will play rookie quarterback in the matchup’s history.
On April 5th, the New York Jets traded 2018 3rd overall pick, Sam Darnold, making it clear they were drafting a quarterback in that month’s NFL draft. Zach Wilson ended up being that quarterback at the #2 spot, which matches the number he wears on the field.
Wilson was excellent in his last year at BYU. He completed over 70% of his passes, threw 33 touchdowns to just three interceptions, and led the Cougars to an 11-1 record. Wilson’s natural arm talent is what lured the Jets to select him. Drawing comparisons to Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers, the Jets sure hope they finally found their guy.
Later in the first round, the Patriots selected Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick. Last year at Alabama, Mac Jones set records for the Rolling Tide. He completed almost 80% of his passes, threw 41 touchdowns, and finished 3rd in Heisman voting. His efforts and the rest of the team’s pure talent led to Alabama winning the National Championship.
Before last season, the Patriots had a constant at the quarterback position, whose name doesn’t even need mentioning. Mac Jones is the long-term replacement for the greatest of all time, which is an astounding amount of pressure for a young player. However, based on reports from the Patriots and their players, Mac Jones has impressed the organization so far.
Both Mac Jones and Zach Wilson were impressed in the preseason. Both looked comfortable and ready to go in the action they got. Mac Jones’ success caused New England to release quarterback Cam Newton in what was a shocking move. In week 1 of the regular season, again, both looked great for their teams. Though Jones and Wilson lost, their individual performance’s were ones that fans of both teams should be excited about
The stage is set for this Sunday in New York. Mac Jones will lead the Patriots against Zach Wilson’s Jets in Wilson’s home opener. Though this is the first time both teams have started rookie quarterbacks against each other, both players are ahead in their years by how they’ve handled their situations.