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In his first meeting with Tom BradyJets rookie Sam Darnold was less effective than he has been in the last few weeks. However, in difficult circumstances, his performance in New England was nothing to be ashamed of, despite the fact that the jets were blown up by 35 points.
Let's look at some specific examples before we draw conclusions:
1st quarter, 4: 5. Jets subsequently 7-0. 2nd and 10th on the Jets 39-yard line.
At this game, jets are in 11 employees, and Darnold is due for hand Elijah McGuire who is driving a route
Tight end Chris Herndon stays in to pass the protect and gets knocked around the edge as New England rushes five, including security Patrick Chung. This opens up the possibility that Darnold takes up the middle for a big win. He immediately recognizes that the patriots are in men's cover as their interior linebackers return to the game.
– New York Jets (@nyjets) December 30, 2018
This was an excellent, crucially read of Darnold and something we haven't seen it often from him all season. While clearly possessing athleticism to do this kind of game more often, Darnold – to his credit – will often keep up with these situations and find an open recipient.
The only criticism here is that he exposed himself to a blow in the open field, with the subsequent defensive lineman also falling on him at the end of the play. It is something that Jetsne cannot afford to do for Darnold too often, but he has generally been sensible when slipping. On this occasion, he did not move to pick up any extra yard – the 28-yard race was twice as long as his previous best this season. He just needs to be selective about when and how often he takes that kind of chance.
Q2, 7:55. Jets Trailing 21-3. 3rd and 9th on the Jets 49-yard line.
This was probably Darnold's best throw of the day on Sunday. Jets operates out of 11 employees here again, this time with all three receivers on the right and two receivers stacked in the column. One of them, rookie Deontay Burnett, runs a long pattern and Darnold strikes the pass perfectly over the defensive back.
– New York Jets (@nyjets) December 30, 2018
Darnold has proven throughout the season that he can "do all the throws" and the long one is considered by many to be one that not all NFL quarterbacks can handle. With a clean pocket he can step up and deliver a tight spiral. Darnold does not challenge decisively out of the cast, even though he ends up taking a hit when he releases it.
3rd quarter, 11:03. Jets Trailing 21-3. 3rd and 10th at Patriots & # 39; 49.
There was a big negative game from Darnold in this game and it came as his fumble was returned to a New England touchdown. Usually you prefer to see that Darnold eats the ball or throws it away in this situation, but with the jets pulling heavily and facing a 3rd and 10th, it's hard to blame him too much for trying to make a game.
– New England Patriots (@ Patriots) December 30, 2018
With Jets operating out of a four-wide set, New England jumped four to five, but Darnold immediately recognized the inner pressure as the center Jonotthan Harrison was driven by his place. But when he looked to expand the game by running out, it got right Brent Qvaleso you stretch from its block, so darnold should instead try to step up. With the walls closing in on him, the ball was knocked away from Darnold, just as he was trying to get his throw off.
As a draft outlook, the security of the ball was a major concern for Darnold, but apart from this game he did not lose a fumble in a tackle all season. His other four fumbles came on fallen snaps or handoff exchanges. To make such a dramatic improvement, it is almost good to stay well for his chances of improving his other weaknesses during this offseason.
Since there were no ongoing games to talk about, an offensive line that was overmatched in passport protection and a patchwork receiving corps, Darnold ended with only 167 passing yards. But while jets only scored three points, Darnold also drove them within the 10-yard line twice just for jets to turn the ball over to the downs. He finished over 50 percent of his passes despite a few drops and some questionable no-calls in the secondary and did not throw an interception for the third straight game.
While he was a bit irregular to start this game, Darnold looked good, and although he wasn't as good as he was in the last few games, his development certainly ended the season on an upward course.
We will have an in-depth look back on his entire rookie season soon.