Sunday’s game was Sam Darnold’s 20th loss as the Jet quarterback in 31 starts. It was another dismal day at the office for the signal-caller with two more interceptions, no touchdown passes and more questions about his future.
On his postgame Zoom meeting with reporters, Darnold sounded and looked defeated. The losing may finally be getting to him. He looked like Mark Sanchez did in 2012, when he was tired of answering questions about losing, interceptions and Tim Tebow. For Darnold, it is losing, interceptions and Trevor Lawrence.
Jets coach Adam Gase, perhaps sensing his quarterback needed a lift, talked to Darnold on Sunday night after the 18-10 loss to the Bills.
“I just keep thinking, lui è 23, none of this can be easy,” Gase said. “He’s a guy that did so much good in college and won a lot of football games and things haven’t always gone as smoothly as you know everybody always hopes when they get to the NFL, this is what makes the NFL really tough. And it’s a mental battle the majority of the time, [suo] can you survive the test? Can you get better through the adversity that you have to go through?
“You see a lot of guys going through it right now. There’s a lot of teams with good players that have poor records, that are fighting the same battle. My thing to him was, we got to stay the course. We have to keep finding ways to get better, we have to do a really good job of being great leaders and showing guys the right way to do things, keeping our focus. intendo, him and myself, getting frustrated and angry to the point where it’s unproductive is not going to work. We have to do things right, we have to show the right way, we have to act a certain way to where we can bring guys along with us and find a way to turn the corner.”
The Jets are 0-7 and it is not hard to imagine them going 0-16. If that happens, the Jets will end up with the No. 1 pick and a chance to take Lawrence, the Clemson star. Darnold answered questions about Lawrence last week and acknowledged he’s seen the chatter on social media.
Darnold returned from missing two games with a shoulder injury on Sunday against the Bills and played well early, completando 10 of his first 11 passa. Poi, he threw a terrible interception before halftime and completed just one pass in the second half. Il suo 31.1 passer rating was the second-worst of his career.
Di lunedi, Darnold said he remains optimistic about the season.
"Per me, I’m always optimistic about different situations, whether they’re good or bad,” Darnold said. "Ovviamente, we’re not where we want to be right now, siamo 0-7, it’s not ideal. Così, for us, for me especially, it’s just about coming in here and going back to work. We watched the film today, we learned from it, and it’s just about getting better every day, learning from mistakes and not making them again.”
Darnold has clearly taken a step back this season. His numbers are worse across the board. His completion percentage is down to 58.4 a partire dal 61.9. His touchdown percentage has gone from 4.3 per 1.9. His interception percentage is up from 2.9 per 3.7. Yards per attempt (5.7 down from 6.9), and yards per completion (9.7 a partire dal 11.1) are down. His yards per game has dropped from 232.6 last year to 182.4. His rating is 65.0, down from 84.3.
The numbers are ugly. Gase put much of the blame for Sunday’s performance on the lack of time Darnold had in the second half as the Bills brought a ton of pressure and the Jets’ line had no answers.
“You look statistically, we’re not good anywhere statistically,” Gase said. “What I see in practice a lot of times, I see things that were better than last year. When we get into games, we’ve just got to figure out a way to protect him, let him get in a rhythm. I saw some really good things in the first half. Then it started getting really muddy there in the second half. Those guys started creating some pocket push and the windows were closing quick. He was trying to make decisions quickly. We didn’t have success doing that.”