New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, right, throws under pressure from New England Patriots' Joejuan Williams during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Cougars in the pros: Wilson struggles and ‘Jamaal That’ debuts

Former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson succumbed to an opportunistic New England defense as the rookie threw four interceptions in his home debut for the New York Jets on Sept. 19.

Wilson finished the day 19-of-33 for 210 yards passing with zero touchdowns to offset his four picks. The Jets fell to 0-2 on the young season with the 25-6 loss to the Patriots. 

Three of Wilson’s interceptions came on passes that zipped over the heads of their intended receivers, while the first pick was the result of a tipped ball intended for Jets’ wide receiver Corey Davis. 

While Wilson’s performance against the Patriots was decried by pundits and Jets fans, he joins a growing list of rookie quarterbacks victimized by Bill Belichick’s defense in their first career meetings with New England. 

Over the last three seasons, the Patriots have held rookie quarterbacks to an average of 56% passing for 184.3 yards. Rookie quarterbacks have tossed only two touchdowns to 12 interceptions when facing the Patriots since 2018. 

Former BYU linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Harvey Langi did not play for the Patriots in the AFC East matchup, and an injury sidelined Van Noy against the Jets.

Running backs

If Detroit Lions fans weren’t entertained by the team’s 35-17 loss to Green Bay on Monday night, then they might look to running back Jamaal Williams for some off-the-field entertainment.  

The Lions’ Twitter account debuted “Jamaal That” on Saturday. The video segment features Williams sharing his unique personality for more than four minutes. “Jamaal That” had over 156,000 views as of Monday morning.  

Ty’Son Williams starred for the Baltimore Ravens with 13 carries for 77 yards in NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. Williams and the Ravens pulled off a thrilling 36-35 win over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The former BYU running back enters week three ranked sixth in the league with an average of 6.5 yards per carry. 

One of Williams’ would-be tacklers on Sunday night was former BYU safety Daniel Sorensen. Despite the heart-breaking loss for the Chiefs, Sorensen was the team’s second-leading tackler, as he recorded 10 total stops, seven solo tackles, one sack, two tackles-for-loss and a quarterback hurry. 

Cougars on defense

Cleveland Browns linebacker Sione Takitaki celebrates a fumble recovery on the punt during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Former BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki made his biggest impact on special teams for the Cleveland Browns in the team’s 31-21 win over the Houston Texans. Takitaki recovered a muffed punt return in Texans’ territory and set up the Browns’ first touchdown of the day. 

Fred Warner and the San Francisco 49ers’ defense stifled Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles in a 17-11 win on Sunday. Warner recorded five solo stops and a total of seven tackles for San Francisco. 

Taysom and the Saints

After cruising to a 38-3 week one win over Green Bay, the New Orleans Saints stalled in a 26-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Quarterback Jameis Winston went 11-for-22 with zero touchdowns and two interceptions for the Saints. Despite Winston’s struggles, Taysom Hill recorded two carries for 16 yards in a limited role under-center. 

Rookies Brady Christensen, Dax Milne and Khyiris Tonga have yet to play in the 2021 NFL regular season. 

Golf update

Former BYU golfer Peter Kuest returned to professional action at the Korn Ferry Tour Q-School on Monday. Kuest will begin competing for a spot on the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour during the qualifying tournament’s opening stage in St. George, Utah, Sept. 21-24. 

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