LOCALS IN THE NFL

Zach Wilson NFL Debut Will Be Against Former New York Jets QB Sam Darnold

May 12, 2021, 11:35 AM
New York Jets - Zach Wilson - NFL Draft...
Zach Wilson dons a New York Jets hat after being selected No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. (BYU Photo)
(BYU Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY – The NFL debut for Zach Wilson and the New York Jets is one of the juicier matchups in week one of the 2021 NFL schedule. Wilson’s Jets are taking on the Carolina Panthers on the road in Charlotte.

Why is this a juicy matchup? Well, in case you somehow missed it, the Carolina Panthers have former Jets QB Sam Darnold as their new signal-caller. It’s the type of matchup that will draw a lot of headlines and hot takes with all eyes on the quarterbacks.

The Jets traded Sam Darnold to Carolina for three draft picks. Clearing the deck for Zach Wilson to arrive on Broadway.

The NFL is releasing its 2021 schedule tonight, but all week one matchups were released on the morning shows of the NFL’s network TV partners.

Jets and Panthers will kick off at 11 a.m. (MT) on Sunday, September 12th, on CBS.

Zach Wilson and the Jets completed their rookie minicamp this past weekend. Wilson received high praise from rookie teammates Elijah Moore and Alijah Vera-Tucker for the leadership Wilson is already showing.

Along with Wilson, it will also be the debut for Jets head coach Robert Saleh. Saleh earned the Jets head coach position after success as defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers organization.

During the 2021 NFL draft, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. consistently questioned the Jets move of going with Zach Wilson over sticking with Sam Darnold. Kiper said Wilson and Darnold are going to be judged together. The longtime ESPN draft analyst said Wilson faced “cupcake after cupcake” with the schedule he faced at BYU in 2020. Even leading Kiper to say it was “sugar levels through the roof.” That wasn’t a worry for Jets general manager Joe Douglas and the Gang Green organization.

In week one, they will definitely be judged together as the two will look to get their teams off to a good start for the 2021 season.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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