Lichtenstein: Darnold Wasn't Only Newcomer To Shine In Jets' Season-Opening Victory

Lichtenstein: Darnold Wasn't Only Newcomer To Shine In Jets' Season-Opening Victory

Lichtenstein: Darnold Wasn't Only Newcomer To Shine In Jets' Season-Opening Victory

More specifically, Lions defensive back Quandre Diggs returned the pass for a touchdown that electrified Ford Field on Monday night.

Then Darnold threw the pick-six, and that feeling Jets fans know all too well, that of the other shoe dropping, felt like it was happening quickly, too. While he's nowhere near Namath's status as a NY G.O.A.T., Darnold showcased himself as potentially the next great Jets quarterback'.

His debut started off shaky - the third overall pick in the 2018 National Football League draft threw a pick-six on his first pass attempt of the night.

"Story of the game's turnovers, you know?" he asked. "I could sit here and tell you we planned it to get the jitters out, but we didn't". "Can't do that to our team", he said. He's brought that to New England, I'm sure he's brought that to Detroit.

For starters, the Jets' passing offense scored four points more than expected based on the down, distance and field position of each play, indicating Darnold did nothing more than an average quarterback would be expected to do. Intercepted by Morris Claiborne at the Lions' 49-yard line, it set up an eventual field goal for the Jets.

"He didn't flinch", Jets coach Todd Bowles said. Johnson was evaluated after he intercepted a pass and fumbled after taking a hard hit from Detroit receiver Kenny Golladay.

The most ghastly of Stafford's interceptions was his third.

"Absolutely", linebacker Darron Lee said over the phone, on his way to boarding the team buses.

Matt Cassel came in at quarterback briefly in the third when Stafford was crunched between two defenders while attempting a pass. It never had a chance. The Jets rubbed salt in the wounds after the game by mocking the Lions, saying they easily figured out Detroit's signals and knew what plays were coming for much of the evening.

It didn't help that Stafford was forcing throws, a bugaboo of his early years in the NFL.

On top of his four interceptions, Stafford overthrew both Marvin Jones and T.J. Jones in the end zone for what would have been easy touchdowns. But Lee didn't bite-"as a defense we said, don't bite the cheese"-hung back and leaped to snag the pass high in the air". He was very good when given a clean pocket to throw from - 78 percent completion rate and a 123.4 passer rating - yet was 2-for-3 for 13 yards when pressured.

What if it was more than just a bad night, though?

That was a huge drive for Darnold and the Jets, who had just seen their momentum from a statistically dominating first-half performance disappear after quarterback Matthew Stafford got the Lions even at 17-17 on their opening possession of the third quarter.

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