If that sounds very 1994, he frankly does not care.
He let the Jets swing for the fences on a potential Mahomes Lite at No. 2 overall, perfectly content standing pat at No. 15 for a quarterback who completed 77.4 percent of his passes at Alabama. And unlike every other team that drafted a quarterback in April, the Jets did not sign anything resembling a threat or a veteran to challenge or support their rookie. This was Wilson’s gig from Day 1 and, on Sunday, you couldn’t help but wonder if the Jets should’ve found themselves a McCown of some sort.
Wilson, the Brigham Young gunslinger, saw more ghosts than Sam Darnold ever dreamed of.
After Interception No. 3 — a bizarre floater right to cornerback J.C. Jackson — Jones called an audible at the line and threw a beautiful rainbow to the Patriots’ Jakobi Meyers, in stride, for 24 yards.
Such was the theme. This game served as a magnifying glass over two polar-opposite rookies. Wilson wants to play off-script like the three-time M.V.P. he idolized: Aaron Rodgers. His improvisation should at least make another losing season fun for the Jets. When a 315-pounder, Lawrence Guy, barreled in for a sack, Wilson hardly blinked. He juked. He escaped. He kept his eyes downfield before throwing incomplete.
This style of play could prove to be special.
This style could also get chewed up and spat out by the rest of the N.F.L.
Interception No. 4 was even uglier, almost as if New England’s Devin McCourty was Wilson’s intended target.
Meanwhile, Jones chugged along. He threw no touchdowns and no picks in completing 22 of 30 passes for 186 yards for the Patriots.
Interesting, isn’t it? Through this off-season of quarterback madness, teams bent over backward for the chance at something special. San Francisco unloaded three first-rounders for someone from North Dakota State who played one football game in 2020 (Trey Lance); Green Bay was perfectly fine being publicly embarrassed by its disgruntled M.V.P. for six months (Rodgers); Indianapolis was willing to take on Carson Wentz’s massive contract; the L.A. Rams unloaded two firsts, a third and Jared Goff for a 33-year-old who has gone 74-90-1 in his career with zero playoff wins.