The New York Jets are 3-6 at the moment. The way they opened this season, most of the fans thought that green-whites are going to reach the playoffs. Currently, they are far away from the offseason.
After demolishing Detroit Lions in Motor City, 17-48, and beating Denver 34-16 and Colts 42-34 at home, Sam Darnold became THE guy for all the Jets fans and was projected to lead this team to glory. On that 14th of October, he threw 280 yards for 2 TDs and one interception, hammering the Colts and posting his third win of the career. All the media were writing about his good performances, and really, the Jets were looking much better.
After the loss against Miami Dolphins, 13-6, this Sunday, everybody is questioning his abilities and quality. His team has three straight failures, and he is, in fact, the main man to blame. And young QB admits his part of the guilt.
“For me, I’m just not playing to the best of my ability and, quite frankly, just playing stupid,” Darnold said, “I thought I played stupid football [Sunday]. I just have to be better. I know that the coaches know that, everybody knows that.”
Four Interceptions Against Miami
Against the Dolphins, the third overall pick from this draft had four interceptions, which eventually decided this event. He threw 229 yards, with 21 for 39, and an awful passer rating of 31.8. Before the game started, Darnold was one of the worst QB’s in league with 10 interceptions, and now, he IS the worst.
His touchdown to interception ratio is negative because he has only 11 TD passes, and his passer rating is very bad, 66.3. Dolphins defense got into his head, and made him nervous during the Sunday’s match, forcing him to lose his confidence. His game was even more damaged when Jerome Baker intercepted his pass, and returned it all the way back, converting him to the only touchdown in the whole game
“I didn’t throw it with confidence,” Darnold said. “I just alligator-armed it — threw it a little bit short,” he said after the match, and added, “If I didn’t turn the ball over, I felt like we had a good chance to win that ballgame,”
24 hours later his thinking is much clearer, and after reviewing the whole game and especially his performance, Darnold spotted many mistakes. According to him, the key to his improvement is the stability, and self-confidence in his instincts.
“I just have to play smarter, play better,” Darnold said. “Yeah, I definitely feel like I forced some things. But at the same time, I feel like there were some throws [I didn’t make] where I was second-guessing myself and I could’ve pulled the trigger.
“At some moments in the game, I just get in my own head. I just have to stay true to my progressions and make sure [I have] the confidence I normally have. Just go out there and sling it.”
Coach Bowls Defends the Youngster
Tod Bowles wanted to protect the 21-year-old, saying that he isn’t the only one to blame, and that the whole offensive line performed very badly in Florida.
“It’s not just Sam. It’s the team, period,” Bowles said. “Yesterday was mainly the offense.
The Jets are among the worst offensive teams in the past three weeks, as they produce only 251 yards per game, and score 11 points during that span. Of course, the quarterback has the biggest responsibility here, but we can’t condemn only him.
Darnold and his teammates will have a chance to snap the cold-streak this week, as they host the Buffalo Bills at their Metlife Stadium. The management and the coach stated that they have enormous trust in the youngster from USC, and that all the speculations about changing the starting QB are nothing more than a nuisance.
Meeting with Bills is very important since this is a divisional rivalry, and because they clash again just four weeks later. For the hosts, a victory in this one might turn the table, and create positive energy in the locker room. To be honest, the struggling Bills are a perfect opportunity for such a thing.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write, read, and bet on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a betting tips writer at WagerBop.