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Jets lose Zach Wilson in ugly blowout loss to Patriots

Jets Patriots Zach Wilson
New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) hit by New England Patriots outside linebacker Matt Judon (9). He then left the game in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Just when you think the New York Jets have hit rock bottom, the football gods throw them a shovel and tell them to dig deeper.

A nightmare of an afternoon saw Gang Green beaten down in Foxboro by the New England Patriots 54-13 while losing rookie quarterback Zach Wilson to a knee injury during the first half.

While Mike White failed to navigate his team through their trip to New England — he threw two interceptions — in relief of Wilson, this was the first time since 1995 that the Jets allowed 50 or more points.

The Patriots struck immediately on the game’s opening drive, needing just four plays to go 65 yards in 2:17 to get on the board.

Straight off the drawing board, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones threw a lateral screen to Kendrick Bourne, who pulled up on the right sideline and hit an open Nelson Agholor for a 25-yard touchdown.

Following a Jets punt, the Patriots doubled its advantage behind Damien Harris, whose 32-yard run put New England at the doorstep before he punched in a one-yard score with 7:21 left in the first quarter to put the hosts up 14-0.

The Jets’ offense showed some signs of life, finally, in the first quarter — going 45 yards on 12 plays to get to the New England 30-yard-line — but Matt Ammendola missed a 48-yard field goal wide right to keep New York blanked on the scoreboard.

After the Patriots went up 17-0 early in the second, Wilson went down after rolling out to his left while looking for Keelan Cole. A considerable amount of time passed after his release before he was tackled from behind by Judon, who landed awkwardly on his legs.

He was able to walk off the field under his own power, but limped to the Jets’ locker room just moments later where he was labeled as questionable to return.

In the meantime, White — who had zero NFL experience — was called on to replace Wilson and he made an immediate impact, completing a three-yard touchdown on his first career pass attempt in the back of the end zone to Corey Davis to bring the Jets within 10 with 10:39 to go in the second. The credit for the score belongs to Davis, who made the leaping catch in tight coverage.

The Patriots punched right back with a 12-play, 73-yard drive that ended with Brandon Bolden taking a screen on 3rd-&-7 15 yards for a touchdown to restore New England’s 17-point lead.

They kept the pedal to the metal to finish the first half with a flourish as Jones hit Hunter Henry for a one-yard touchdown. The Patriots’ tight end remained red-hot as it was his fourth straight game with a receiving touchdown, which is the longest streak by a Patriots tight end since Rob Gronkowski in 2013. The 31 points scored in the first half alone were the most points the Patriots had scored in an entire game this season.

The Jets came out firing to start the second half as White continued to keep the offense moving. Gang Green went 77 yards for a second touchdown on a 19-yard reverse called for Elijah Moore, though the ensuing two-point conversion failed.

Following a Patriots field goal to go up 34-13, White’s day took a turn when a deep pass down the middle to the Patriots’ 11-yard-line intended for Ryan Griffin was intercepted by Kyle Dugger.

On the Jets’ very next drive, White was picked off again by J.C. Jackson, who undercut Moore on the right sideline at the New York 43-yard-line.

Five plays later, the Patriots were in the end zone after Harris picked up his second score of the game, a three-yard rush.

They didn’t let up either, as JJ Taylor punched home a pair of touchdowns to put the Patriots over the 50-point mark and add further humiliation on the Jets.

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