The Sam Darnold Deep Dive: Week 1 at Buffalo

Stephen Zantz with a closer look at Sam Darnold’s statistical performance in week 1 vs the Buffalo Bills…

This will be my weekly column discussing the performance of Sam Darnold. The Jets traveled to Buffalo today fell to the Bills 27 – 17. Here is the deep dive of Sam Darnold’s performance.

Drive by Drive:

1st Quarter:

Drive 1: 0-2 0yds (Punt)

Drive 2: 1-1 0yds (Punt)

Drive 3: 0-3 0yds (Punt)

Drive 4: 1-2 9yds (Punt)

1st Qtr Total: 2-8 9yds 0 TD 0 INTs

2nd Quarter:

Drive 5: 1-2 13yds (Darnold INT)

Drive 6: 5-8 59yds (FG)

2nd Qtr Total: 6-10 72yds 0 TD 1 INT

3rd Quarter:

Drive 7: 3-3 10yds (Punt)

Drive 8: 1-2 69yds 1 TD (TD to Crowder)

Drive 9: 1-1 -5yds (Herndon Fumble)

3rd Qtr Total: 5-6 74yds 1 TD 0 INT

4th Quarter:

Drive 10: 0-2 0yds (Punt)

Drive 11: 8-9 64yds (Josh Adams TD Run)

4th Qtr Total: 8-11 64 Yds

Game Total: 21/35 215 Yds 1 TD 1 INT 60% Comp & 6.1 YPA

Overall, this was a disaster game for Sam Darnold. No way around it. I understand we want this guy to succeed and be the long term QB, but yesterday was unacceptable. The offense looked lifeless basically until the end of the 2nd quarter. I hate Adam Gase and have made it known for quite some time, but it’s year 3 and the honeymoon is over as Connor Hughes pointed out in his column last night. The play calling is definitely suspect at times, but I definitely saw Sam completely miss wide open receivers at least 5 times. The offensive line (given circumstances) was not abysmal like people were expecting. They gave up 3 sacks and 16 hurries. One of those sacks was a coverage sack given up by Becton because no one was open.

The two most alarming plays to me yesterday were the interception and when he took a sack by running out of bounds instead of throwing the ball away.  That interception was absolutely atrocious. Why in the world are you deciding to throw across your body while scrambling to a 5’9 receiver. Take off and scramble, you had room to maybe get the first down. Going back to that “sack”, Sam needs to stop trying to force things. No one was open and you had plenty of time to throw the ball away. Geno Smith used to do the same thing all the time. Good quarterbacks throw the ball away and Sam needs to correct that.

Yesterday was a major disappointment. It was expected to have some rust without a preseason and shorter training camp. At the end of the day, it’s year 3 and we need rookie mistakes to be gone. Next week is going to be just as tough of test going against the defending NFC champs. Sam and Gase better go back to the drawing board quickly and figure out how to correct the mistakes.