Despite poor protection, Wilson -- the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft -- completed 20 of 37 passes for 258 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the Jets' 19-14 season-opening loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in Charlotte. The 22-year-old proved his toughness, as he was sacked six times, hit 10 times, and pressured 14 times in 43 total dropbacks.
"The key is, from an organizational standpoint, making sure they're continuing to put better people around him, that they have the right development plan for him, and that there's patience involved," former Jets franchise quarterback Chad Pennington told The DA Show on Monday. "No rookie quarterback is going to come out there and set the world on fire from the get-go... For Zach, it's really about the total process for him as an individual.
"And for the Jets, to make sure over the next three years they do everything in their power to make sure he's getting better as an individual, and the team and culture in general is getting better around him. Because you can see there's talent there. You can see he has great upside. But there's so many factors involved in making sure the quarterback can be successful."
Wilson's debut was certainly a tale of two halves. In the first two quarters, the BYU product went 0 for 7 under duress and 0 for 4 on third down, trailing 16-0 at halftime. He settled down and found his footing during the second half, however, as he went 3 for 6 under duress and converted 3 of 5 third downs.
Late in the third quarter, Wilson threw his first career touchdown, connecting with new Jets receiver Corey Davis for a 22-yard score. It was their first of two touchdowns in the game, as Wilson also found Davis from eight yards out with two minutes left in regulation.
New York (0-1) will host the New England Patriots (0-1) in a Week 2 matchup on Sunday, Sept. 19. According to FiveThirtyEight's projections, the Jets have just a 10-percent chance to reach the playoffs, and a 4-percent chance to win the AFC East.
The entire conversation between Pennington and DA can be accessed in the audio player above.