After starting out the season at 3-3, the New York Jets hit the skids, which resulted in a 6-game losing streak heading into week 14. Sitting at 3-9 and no chance of making the playoffs, the team could have easily decided to simply play out the string and hope for better next year. Apparently, Head Coach Todd Bowles and rookie-QB Sam Darnold have other ideas.
After trailing most of Sunday’s game and heading into the 4th quarter behind 20-13 to division rivals Buffalo Bills, Darnold and the Jets’ offense found its stride and mounted a comeback that helped the team snap its losing streak. The final score was 27-23 with the Jets scoring the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run by Elijah McGuire with only 1:17 remaining in the game. The line on the game was Buffalo -4, for those interested in betting on the rest of the NFL season you can check duel-promo-code.com and see what offers you can get.
The star of the final drive was Darnold, who was able to show the poise one would expect from a maturing rookie quarterback. On that final drive, he led the team 75 yards in a scant 1:14. The big play of the drive was a 37-yard pass to WR Robby Anderson on 2nd and 4 from the Bills' 42-yard line.
Starting from the Bills' 5-yard line, the Jets struggled to get the ball in the endzone. With the ball sitting at the 1-yard line with 4th and goal, the Jets could have settled for field goal and played to get the game into overtime. With nothing to lose, Coach Bowles decided to go for the win, culminating in McGuire's winning score. The win was secured when Trumaine Johnson intercepted a Josh Allen pass after the ensuing kickoff.
While the stat-line was far from impressive, Darnold did enough to keep his team in the game, setting up the chance for the winning drive. He finished the game hitting on 16-24 passes for 170 yards and 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
This wasn't the season the Jets had hoped for at the beginning of the year. Even with a rookie QB leading the team, Coach Bowles believed the team would be more competitive. Unfortunately, the offense, which ranks 31st in the league, has never been able to establish any kind of consistency. Over his 10 starts, Darnold has only completed slightly over 55% of his passes for 2,104 yards with 12 touchdowns against 15 interceptions. As is the case with many rookie QBs, Darnold has had issues with turnovers, accounting for a team-high 4 lost fumbles to go with the 15 interceptions.
While Coach Bowles is under siege by the fans and front office, this comeback win offers hope for the future. Remember, Darnold only played two years at USC before entering the draft before his junior year. When the Jets chose him in the 1st round with the 3rd overall pick, they did so, knowing the rookie was going to have a steep learning-curve. What this comeback win confirms is the talent is there, it's just a matter of getting snaps and learning to play the game at the highest level.
Over the final three weeks of the season, the fans can expect to see Darnold continuing to work on controlling the offense and trying to cutdown on mistakes.