Zach Wilson on Sunday will face one of the toughest tests a rookie NFL quarterback can face: Bill Belichick.
And while the New York Jets signal-caller understands the degree of difficulty Belichick will present, the 2021 second overall pick seems somewhat confident ahead of his first game against the New England Patriots.
“I’m excited for it, it’s going to be a good challenge for me,” Wilson said Thursday while speaking with New York reporters. “Tons of great learning, I’m sure. And also just, these guys are part of our division. So, we’re gonna play them a lot, this year and in the coming years.
“And, so, it’s just getting used to this scheme, how we can beat some of the things they’re gonna throw at us. It’s no secret what they’re gonna throw at us, it’s now you gotta try to stop it. And, so, that’s the big question. We have, I think, a lot of good things we’ve been working on this week.”
Here’s how former Patriot and current NESN analyst Matt Chatham reacted to Wilson’s comments:
Wilson also talked about watching the Patriots while growing up.
“I almost feel like every year looking back they were in the Super Bowl,” he said, via MassLive. “They mush together. You can’t remember which was which. Ever since I was a little kid, watching the Super Bowl, the Patriots were part of it.”
Since taking over as head coach of the Patriots in 2000, Belichick is an astonishing 21-6 against rookie quarterbacks, including 13-0 at home. However, when facing freshman signal-callers on the road before Week 10, Belichick’s Patriots only are 2-5.
So, the odds — despite New England currently being a six-point favorite — might favor Wilson and the Jets.
Wilson threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns, along with one interception, Sunday in his NFL debut, a 19-14 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, meanwhile, threw for 281 yards and a score in a loss to the Miami Dolphins.
The two rookies will square off Sunday at MetLife Stadium at 1 p.m. ET.