One week after playing arguably the best game of his NFL career QB Sam Darnold followed by the absolutely worst performance against the New England Patriots. The Gang Green got shut out, 33-0, against their division rival, as Darnold went 11 of 32, 86 yards, 4 INT. He also lost a fumble, bringing his turnover total in this game to five, the most he's ever had as a pro or in NCAA.
Nothing went right for the Jets in this game. First, they allowed a touchdown on the game opening drive. The drive that lasted almost nine minutes, as Tom Brady methodically picked apart Greg Williams' defense that failed to bring any pass rush till the third quarter. Then, it was Darnold's turn. Unlike the Jets, New England brought pressure from the get go. They went after Darnold on the first passing play, forcing him into a bad throw that was picked off.
It went only downhill from there on. Darnold followed with three more picks and a lost fumble. He finished with an abysmal quarterback rating of 3.7, by far the worst of his career. His mentor, Adam Gase, failed to make any adjustments to keep the pressure off his struggling signal caller. The Jets seemed to have some kind of running game going and definitely should have run more, especially in the first half when they still had a chance and Darnold was seemingly flustered.
Darnold's receivers did not help either. Demaryius Thomas, who had spent the week complaining how he was mistreated by the Pats, caught only 3 of 9 passes thrown to him. Robby Anderson, who had over 100 yards last week, caught just 1 of 8 for 10 yards.
On the defensive side, the Gang Green once again had a decent performance. Trumaine Johnson picked off Brady in the second half after giving up a touchdown pass in the first. There was absolutely no pressure on Brady in the first half, which was a surprise. You have to make Brady uncomfortable if you want to beat him. The Pats went 7 of 16 on third downs. The Jets, on the other hand, were 2 of 11.
Next Sunday, against the Jaguars, we'll see if Darnold can really play at this level. Can he shrug off tonight's abysmal performance and play the way he did against the Cowboys?