EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Facing the New England Patriots for the first time, New York Jets rookie Zach Wilson received his welcome-to-the-rivalry moment on his first pass. His second. His fifth. His tenth.
In his 10 first pass attempts Sunday at MetLife Stadium the rookie quarterback was intercepted four more times, exceeding his total interceptions for the entire 2020 season at BYU.
Wilson completed 19 of 33 passes for 210 yards with four interceptions. In the 25-6 loss, he also ran three times for 19 yard.
Wilson was struggling, but Patriots first round pick Mac Jones (22 out of 30 186 yards; 0 touchdown, 0 interception) was efficient and conservative in his first career win. Jones was content to accept shorter passes and compliment a defense that had already picked Wilson off four times.
Jones was also able to help in other areas. He hustled down the field, pushing running back Damien Harris over his goal-line on his 26 yard touchdown run in quarter three, and then later, he cut down a defender with a 16-yard run of receiver Kendrick Bourne.
Wilson was the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and became the first Jets player to throw interceptions on two of his first passes in a game. Vinny Testaverde did it in 2000. He was also the first Jets quarterback since Geno Smith to throw three interceptions during the first half of the game in 2014.
Three interceptions in halftime is not a common feat for NFL quarterbacks. Only one other quarterback has ever done it since the start of the 2020 season -- Kirk Cousins, of the Minnesota Vikings. In Week 6, he had three against Atlanta Falcons.
Wilson received solid pass protection, unlike Week 1. He threw the ball over the middle and into heavy coverage in search of Corey Davis. To make the play, J.C. Jackson, cornerback, stepped in front Davis.
Wilson was moving on his second throw. He rolled to his right and threw high at Davis. He lost the ball and it ended up in Adrian Phillips' arms.
After two passes, Jackson seemed to be at ease. But he went back and did it again, overthrowing rookie Elijah Moore. Jackson again made the interception.
Wilson's worst pass of the game was in the third quarter. He threw a deep floater, which was intercepted and returned to safety Devin McCourty. McCourty was not in Wilson's vicinity, and Wilson wasn't forced to do so.
Wilson was aggressive on all four turnovers and looked downfield rather than looking for checkdown options. Wilson stated that he was excited to play against a Bill Belichick-coached defense and said it would be a "great test" and "lots of great learning."
The first half was full of teaching moments.
This report was contributed by Mike Reiss, ESPN.