Despite a few rocky games, Sam Darnold is still the future for the New York Jets.
Sam Darnold has had a rough go of it since coming back from Mono. It had gotten so bad that many Jets fans had begun to wonder if it was time to move on from him.
This all started with Sam Darnold’s awful display against the New England patriots. A game that saw him complete just 33% of his passes and throw four INTs. Just an awful display. Sam followed that up with two lack luster performances against the Jaguars and Dolphins.
The alarm bells started ringing in Jets fans’ heads. However, that response is premature for a few reasons. First, Darnold is only 22 years old. He’s actually a month younger than giants rookie QB Daniel Jones. On top of that, Darnold is playing behind an offensive line that is allowing pressure on over 60% of backdrops this year. Only the Bengals Oline has been worse.
Against the Jaguars, Sam Darnold was pressured on every single dropback and was sacked eight times. Not a scenario where any QB could succeed.
Still, Darnold has perceived and played reasonably well compared to the rest of the league. Darnold is 26th in QBR, ahead of Mitch Trubisky, Josh Allen, Jarred Goff, Andy Dalton, and Mason Rudolph.Â All of that despite his awful games in New England and his terrible oline.
Here are Sam Darnold’s stats this year outside of that one horrific game in New England: 1221 yards, on 68.6% completion percentage, seven passing TDs, one rushing TD, five INTs, and zero lost fumble. Over a full 16 game schedule that would Darnold on pace for: 3,907 yards, on 68.6% completion, with 22 Passing TDs, three rushing TDs, 16 INTs, and zero lost fumbles.
That’s not a superstar level of QB production, but it is a massive jump from his performance in his rookie year. This all despite his awful surroundings.
Sam Darnold is not ready to carry this team on his back and lead them to the playoffs. He may never be that guy. However, he is a rising star QB in this league whose numbers have been skewed by one awful game. That awful game shouldn’t just be ignored, but it should be viewed for what it is an aberration.