Mac Jones Plays Checkers While Zach Wilson Plays Chess
The passing charts from each of these two rookie quarterbacks are pretty interesting. Mac Jones only had one attempt over 20 yards and it was an interception.
It’s pretty obvious how each AFC east team is utilizing their rookie QBs respectively. The Patriots are taking a totally conservative approach that does not ask too much of Mac Jones. That has also had its benefits, it has shielded Mac from mistakes and any of the criticisms that would come with it. All throughout the first 4 weeks, we have seen how much heat has been put on guys like Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson. Mac has been touted as the next Brady at times but others, where he is actually asked to go above and beyond and make plays, he has not. He has however gained the hearts of New England, doing gritty things like laying blocks and pushing the pile for touchdowns.
That’s all fine and dandy because while Mac’s growth has been incremental, Zach Wilson was baptized in fire and throws bombs. throughout Mac's first games have been extremely incremental.
Zach Wilson has thrown a lot of interceptions, but that’s because the play calling has put him in those positions to make those plays. The Jets have more trust in Zach to cook, Belichick wants to minimize Mac’s role as much as possible. The Jets can’t afford to do that and the result is a lot of the heat Zach has been getting before he paid dividends Sunday vs the Titans. Even his one pick wasn’t exactly his fault. (As you can see Corey Davis slipped getting out of his break, this is a Metlife turf issue it sucks)
The answer to which approach was more effective in the long run will come, not this season, maybe not even next, but when Belichick decides to let Mac open it up and truly gets the keys to the offense. The road will be very tough with the Bills in the division but there are 2 possible outcomes for each quarterback and their team’s future trajectory:
Mac Jones incrementally improves and one day becomes Bledsoe (not Brady too many rings to catch up), or he never is able to go above and beyond being a game manager- failure to launch.
Zach Wilson’s success in games against weak opponents is a flash in the pan and he has a short-lived career, or the Jets become one of the newest dynamic offenses like the chiefs.
In both of these scenarios, Jones will have the average longer career, his true playmaking ability is being hidden in the attic like Boo Radley, While Wilson’s is on full display.
Will be a great storyline to come.