TOJ New York Jets Film Review- Sam Darnold’s Rookie Season (Part 2)

Joe Blewett with part two of his film breakdown of Sam Darnold’s rookie year…

Part 2 of the two part review of Sam Darnold’s rookie season. Breaking down 73 plays…

Great throw and decision here by Darnold that is again dropped by one of his WR’s. Jets run 4 verticals, Darnold sees a window to hit Roberts (bottom) as the CB is playing overtop of Roberts and has opened up his hips. Darnold places it behind and to the sideline but its dropped.

Dropped passes all over the place last season and here is another bad one. Jets run a panther concept on the bottom. Darnold checks the DB lined up as a will backer to see if he stays inside. Darnold then hits Peake right in the numbers and Peake drops it for an INT.

Darnold never looked comfortable this game with his feet, which isn’t hard to imagine for a 21 year old QB who was constantly pressured. Darnold isn’t able to fully step through his throw/get pointed, leading to another rip/overthrow

See some pressure on Darnold from the inside again and footwork hurting his accuracy. Anderson wins vertically on the 9, see some of the “step in the bucket” with his lead foot. The ball isn’t deep enough and too far inside.

Force from Darnold here as he drops back and reads the right side on the drive-mesh concept. Stares down Herndon instead of hitting Matthews who is underneath on a drag.

Just showing some of the awareness/movement that Darnold has in the pocket here. As he drops back and reads the defense, he feels the pressure off of the edge from the DB blitz. Steps up, moves to his right while keeping his eyes downfield and finds an open WR.

Bad decision here by Darnold (bears all-22 angles will ALWAYS suck). Darnold drops back and reads the defense as he eventually comes to Kearse. Kearse is open as he breaks on the hitch but Darnold waits WAY to long to throw this ball, which almost ends up being an INT.

Solid throw here from Darnold as on the broadcast angle you can really notice some of the velocity on this throw. Jets run a slant-flat concept to the boundary side. Darnold hits his ex USC teammate on the slant.

Great play from Darnold here on this scissors con to the boundary side. Darnold reads the defense on the boundary side and notice man coverage, with the outside CB carrying Matthews inside. Darnold knows the CB can’t react quick enough + Herndon having leverage + the step up 😍

Another play showing some of Darnold’s awareness in the pocket and mobility. AS he drops back he feels pressure from his right side, condenses his body by dipping his right shoulder to get away from the OLB. Sees nothing he wants to throw and scrambles for 10+

Nice throw by Darnold on the y-cross concept here (wonder what this would’ve been in Alonzo kept on his depth path). Darnold sees Herndon behind Alonzo in his zone and drops it in right over his head for the completion.

Last BAD game from Darnold of the season. Darnold drops back vs this cover 2 defense. Stares down Anderson on the stop route, which brings Alonzo directly under Anderson’s route for the easy INT.

Darnold drops back and sees nothing he wants to throw. Fells pressure off of the right edge, dips his right shoulder to avoid contact. Moves out to the right, sees Enunwa along the sideline and hits him for the completion.

Should be INT from Darnold here. Jets run a switch-sail concept to the bottom of the screen out of a 21 personnel I-formation. Dolphins are in man coverage and have an inside-out call with the CB’s. DB who goes inside has good leverage on the out. Darnold forces and overthrows.

Another bad throw for what should’ve been an INT for Darnold. Jets run panther to the bottom of the screen and McGuire is open. Darnold just needs to put the ball on McGuire but overthrows because of his mechanics as he isn’t able to step through his through with quick pressure.

Darnold gets sacked here. Darnold needs to recognize pre snap the tight CB up top potentially coming on the cat blitz. The ball is snapped and Burnett is open immediately on the hitch but Darnold doesn’t throw it. Low snap taking away his ability to read the defense doesn’t help.

Yet another bad snap that Darnold is able to bring in. Tomlinson runs an out on the bottom of the screen. Darnold tries to fit it into a tighter window but doesn’t get enough air under the ball to float it over the LB in his zone. Again would like to see better mechanics here.


Good decision here by Darnold as the Jets run a flat-7 concept to the boundary side vs this tampa 2 defense. Anderson is open on the corner route. Darnold again “steps in the basket” leading to the very SLIGHT overthrow that Anderson should catch but he goes up with one hand.


Forced throw from Darnold here on 4th and 15, down 13-6 with 2:22 to go in the 4th quarter. Jets run a crease concept on the field side against a soft cover 3. Darnold tries to hit the #1 WR over the middle of the field but the ball is easily intercepted.

Another INT late in the game for Darnold as the Jets are still down 13-6 with 41 seconds left in the game. darnold drops back and feel pressure so he rolls out to the right. Leggett is open as he runs a deep stop with a push by. Darnhold had a window to hit Leggett for a big gain

Darnold hurt during the Dolphins game and gets to sit a few weeks, learning from the sideline and he looked like a new QB. Here reads cover 2 as the Jets run a smash concept to the boundary side. Hits Anderson as he sees the intermediate defenders react to the hitch route.

Darnold looked very good this game but had a bad play or two. Darnold drops back and reads the defense but feels pressure coming off of the left edge. Rolls out and ends up forcing a ball to Herndon that intercepted on 3rd down. Needs to take the field goal here.

Darnold in a gun set with trips to the field side. Darnold rolls out to his right by design as the Jets run Anderson/Enunwa on outs on different levels on a wolf type concept. Darnold throws a good ball to Enunwa as he sees him with outside leverage on the CB.

Jets in another gun set vs the Bills cover 2 man. Herndon runs an out vs Edmunds. Edmunds is in decent position on Herndon but Darnold is able to lead Herndon outside with another pretty pass.

Play 100 of the review. Something I want to see cleaned up here as Darnold drops back, reads middle and then reads the right side of the field are his feet. As they aren’t the most active/not great transitionally. Misses a window to hit Anderson on the top.

This likely didnt look impressive during the game but its a play thats worth noting for Darnold. Darnold gets the ball/ reads the defense but there is quick pressure on him. Looks towards McGuire on the flat as he has room, sees the 4i tech try to get the PD and float it over him

Another play that Darnold trust Anderson to win. Anderson runs the 9 route and has very little room to the sideline. Darnold knows Anderson has outside leverage and throws the ball in the perfect spot tight to the sideline. This is a pretty absurd throw.

Didn’t love this decision from Darnold. Anderson (bottom) runs a 9 route with a “Dino” stem vs cover 4. There is no #2 vertical threat so Anderson is doubled. Darnold forces the ball which hits Anderson in the hands but could’ve been an INT if Mathieu was able to locate the ball.

Missed a play from the Bills game which was another good throw from Darnold. Anderson (bottom) runs a fade, Darnold puts the ball in the perfect spot leading Anderson both vertically and horizontally. Anderson isn’t able to toe tap the should be TD.

Anderson runs a post-corner route (#1 wr on top). Darnold drops back, has pressure off of the left edge so he steps up to avoid it. Throws a good ball from hash to the opposite sideline 25 yards downfield. Also really good timing here from Darnold on the throw.

Darnold on a pa rollout to the right as the Jets run a wolf concept to the bottom. Watt pressures Darnold but Darnold is able to get away (Herndon block in the back), then more pressure comes from a LB. Darnold pumps/reduces to get away then hits Anderson on a absurd throw/play.

Showing some of the wheels again. Darnold drops back and reads the defense but then notices the big gap through the a-gap. Scrambles through it, the DB closes ground and Darnold can slide at the 25. Instead changes his angle and outruns the DB picking up an extra 10 yards or so.

Really good play and throw on the move from Darnold. He drops back and starts to feel some pressure from his right. Rolls out to the right, Herndon adjust to Darnold moving nicely. Darnold puts it on him with pressure in his face. Clowney rocked Darnold a few times this game.

Darnold drops back, feels pressure up the b-gap as Watt penetrates he steps up and away from more pressure from his left. Rolls to the right and sees McGuire open in the flat, hits him, again with pressure in his face.

Jets in a 3×1 gun set. McGuire (top) sits down at the 27 as the check down underneath Anderson’s post route against this Tampa 2. Darnold throws a pump/shoulder fake to McGuire which draws Mathieu down and opens the window to Anderson behind him. Darnold hits him for a good gain.

TD on the jump pass from Darnold. He reads the right side panther concept/double slants but decides not to hit Kearse as the LB is squatting inside of the slant. Goes to roll to the right but sees the D-lineman, pushes upfield and sees Anderson get behind the DB, TD.

Another TD from Darnold but this time its to Roberts on the slug route. The CB bites hard on the slant portion of the route and Roberts easily gets behind. Darnold puts it on him but I would like to have seen more air under the ball/Darnold step into the throw.

Jets run an rpo. Darnold keeps it and rolls out to his right. Escapes the diving tackle attempt from Watt. Darnold could’ve hit Anderson for a few more yards but he pulls the ball down and trucks over the CB as he goes to the ground. Have to be careful here/limit this contact.

Didn’t want to throw a ton of QB sneaks into the review. But had to throw in at least one and mention that Darnold was very effective at picking up first downs on sneaks. Here Darnold notices the “double mug” look from the defense and attacks the b-gap to his left to get the 1st.

Darnold feels pressure from his left side as Beachum get bulled/long armed into his lap. Darnold rolls out to the right, the defense losses Herndon behind them. Darnold hits Herndon, good job keeping his eyes downfield and good patience to wait for Herndon to uncover.

Another pretty ridiculous play/throw from Darnold here. Darnold rolls out to the left as he sees Watt coming from the right. Sees Anderson sitting between the curl/flat zone and the deep 1/2 safety. Gets his shoulder pointed and throws the ball with great touch/velocity to Robby.

Darnold was feeling himself at this point/showed some balls on this attempt. As he rolls out to the left he thinks about throwing it to McGuire in the flat but wants to bigger gain. Makes eye contact with Anderson and points him back inside. Think this is complete minus the PD.

Another scramble for a first down by Darnold. As he drops back he feels some pressure coming from the interior. Rolls out to the left and sees man coverage opening up his running lane. Darnold takes off for about a 15 yard gain.

Jets down 4, 2:15 left in 4th quarter on first down. Anderson runs a post (bottom) against this cover 2 defense. Darnold has a window to hit Anderson but has to put the ball on a rope. Darnold doesn’t see the other deep 1/2 DB and leads Anderson into a near INT.

4th and 14. Darnold rolls out to his left after he drops back and sees nothing he wants to throw + has pressure. Anderson adjust his route and works back to Darnold. Darnold stops rolling out, plants and throws a good ball hitting Anderson in the hands but the ball is dropped.

Jets still down but with 54 seconds left in the game. Texans run cover 6 with the LB in that Tampa role. Kearse #2 (top) runs up the seam and Darnold puts the ball in a location that Kearse can make a play. Piss poor effort by Kearse to make a play on the ball.

Jets go maxed protection, play action with Anderson up to running a comeback. Darnold slides in the pocket away from pressure in the a-gap all the way into his throw. Darnold sees the DB overtop and outside so he puts it low and inside, great decision but the ball is dropped.

Really good ball placement here from Darnold. Herndon runs a seam route vs this cover 1 defense. Darnold reads the middle of the defense after play action. Looks to Herndon and sees the DB with inside leverage so he throws it back shoulder for the completion.

Nothing cray but important to note and still an impressive play. Darnold runs the play action fake out of I. Hits the bottom of his drops as he reads the slant to Anderson, sees the LB bite up towards the line/drift and hits Anderson with some zip over the middle.

Nothing crazy but still liked this play from Darnold. Kearse runs a stop underneath Anderson’s vertical route up top. Darnold shows some good patience in the pocket here as he waits for Kearse to uncover as he drifts to the sideline. Assisted by bad coverage + the pump from SD.

Simple concept but great execution from Darnold. Jets run a slant-flat with the RB/#2 on the bottom. Darnold gets the snap, reads that the DB is moving towards the flat with McGuire in man coverage. Fires the ball into Kearse for the first in a relatively tight window.

Easy TD for Darnold here as the Jets motion Cannon into a trips set. Cannon runs a smoke route and Darnold sells the throw with his shoulders/hips/eyes getting the Packers DB’s to bite/blow there defense (cover 3) resulting in the easy TD to Anderson.

Missed play here from Darnold on 3rd and 10 as the Jets run a switch-smash concept to the top of the screen again this cover 2 defense. The curl-flat/cloud corner has his hips open to attempt to be able to play anything over his head. Darnold needs to look off/pump and hit Robby.

Have to be excited about the Darnold-Anderson this upcoming year. Very similar to an earlier play. Jets run play action and Darnold reads Anderson who has the CB with his hips open respecting his speed. Darnold throws as Anderson cuts and hits him on the sideline.

Darnold reads man pre snap as the defense shows “corners over” as the Jets run Kearse on another slant-flat. Darnold gets the snap and sees the DB follow McGuire into the flat. Darnold makes a simple but quick and decisive read. Delivers the ball to Kearse.

Another Darnold-Anderson connection as Anderson runs a corner-stop. Darnold reads left as he takes the snap but then comes back right. Sees Anderson who has the CB’s hips opened and not ready for the break back to the ball. Hits him with good timing for the 1st down on 3rd.

Great throw/play from Darnold here as he again puts a ton of trust in Anderson to come down with this ball. As Darnold rolls out after play action he has Herndon WIDE open in the flat which many QB’s just hit. Passes that up to hit Anderson for an extra 10 or so yards.

Thought this movement in the backfield really showed off some of Darnold’s athleticism. As Tomlinson gets pushed back into Darnold has to step up and around the defender, look how tightly he got around. Keeps his eyes downfield and hits Anderson who can’t haul it in.

Not the best decision/throw from Darnold here. Darnold could have been trying to hit Anderson back shoulder or lead him vertically but either way the pass was off because of his feet. Instead of getting his feet under/driving we see some of the step in the bucket mechanics.

Darnold drops back and looks to hit the flat to hit right but decides not to as the LB carries McGuire. Rolls out to his right and points Leggett to his right to make it an easier/safer throw and Darnold hits him. Saw Darnold very comfortable on the move/directing traffic late.

Wish Darnold hit this one (at the time, now I’m glad they lost and grabbed Q) as he drops back, reads the defense and then rolls out to his right. Again directs some traffic and sees Burnett heading towards the back pylon. Darnold throws on the move but misses him for the TD.

Darnold can’t move like some other QB’s in the 2018 draft, mainly Allen and Jackson. But I’ve heard that Darnold isn’t very mobile which you’ve seen throughout this review isn’t correct at all. Darnold scrambles a good chunk here but needs to GET DOWN.

Good throw from Darnold here with some pressure in his face after the play action fake. Jets run a hawk concept to the top of the screen. Darnold sees Burnett get open on the DB on the out route. Hits him even though he knows he will take the hit.

Ill take this play from Darnold here as he puts the ball up because he trust Herndon. Jets run play action, Darnold reads the defense but rolls out right as he sees pressure. Herndon has outside leverage on the DB, Darnold puts it in a good spot but Herndon can’t bring it in.

Another great throw from Darnold here to Burnett on the corner route as a part of another hawk concept. Darnold sees that the zone defender is underneath of Burnetts route. Darnold floats it over his head in a perfect location for the catch. Great job by Burnett hear as well.

Ridiculous throw by Darnold here. Drops back and feel immediate pressure from the left/interior and rolls out to his right. Sees Burnett with leverage over the top of the trailing DB. Makes a 30+ yard throw on the dime while rolling right.

LAST PLAY of the 151 play review. Darnold drops back and sees nothing he likes and starts to move out to his right but gets pressure from the b-gap, puts on the breaks but then gets pressure from a LB. Keeps his eyes downfield and throws a good ball while fading away.