LANDOVER, Md. — Name him Sam Darnold ghostbuster.
Exhibiting regular enchancment since his notorious “ghost” sport final month, the New York Jets quarterback delivered arguably the perfect efficiency of his younger profession in Sunday’s 34-17 win over the Washington Redskins at FexEx Subject. Darnold threw a career-high 4 touchdowns, together with three in first half, to offer the Jets (3-7) a much-needed laugher.
The Jets performed their greatest all-around sport, however the massive story was Darnold, whose confidence appeared shattered just a few weeks in the past. As an alternative of tanking after seven interceptions in back-to-back losses to the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars, he rallied by displaying the psychological toughness required for long-term success within the NFL.
Behind the scenes, Darnold took possession of the offense, turning into extra assertive in conferences with coach Adam Gase. He took the identical strategy within the huddle, in line with teammates. That is Darnold 2.0. He isn’t seeing ghosts anymore; he is seeing open receivers. On Sunday, he threw touchdowns to 4 totally different receivers — tight ends Daniel Brown and Ryan Griffin and broad receivers Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder. He completed with 293 yards and a 121.Three passe ranking.
Darnold unfold the ball evenly and made performs together with his legs, each on designed rollouts and off-schedule performs during which he was flushed from the pocket. He made one dangerous resolution (an interception on a display screen cross), however it was solely a momentary lack of poise.
Similar to that, the Jets’ season, unraveling after an embarrassing loss to the Miami Dolphins two weeks in the past, has an upbeat really feel.
Promising pattern: Win. Win. It should not be that tough — a two-game successful streak — however the Jets have a tendency to extend the diploma of problem. They gained back-to-back for the primary time in 20 video games. This qualifies because the glory days for Gase, who has skilled principally turbulence in his first season. The Jets are 2-Zero since CEO Christopher Johnson, in a non-public deal with to the staff, gave Gase a vote of confidence. The Jets improved to 3-1 versus the NFC East.
Purchase Jamal Adams’ efficiency: Dude is on fireplace. Adams turned solely the second defensive again within the final 10 years to file three sacks in a sport. (Mike Hilton did it for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017.) The star security, who has 5 sacks within the final two video games, looks like a unique participant since burying the hatchet with administration within the aftermath of his trade-deadline snit.
Purchase Gregg Williams’ efficiency: The Jets defensive coordinator, enjoying with third-string cornerbacks and second-string inside linebackers, confused rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins by altering appears. The Jets did not blitz lots — save for Adams — however they performed protection and compelled him to carry the ball, leading to six sacks. This will have been an audition for Williams. The previous Redskins assistant may very well be a head teaching candidate for them after the season. Redskins possession has an affinity for Williams.
Troubling pattern: One other powerful sport for working again Le’Veon Bell, who was held underneath 71 yards for the 11th consecutive sport — by far the longest droop of his profession. They tried a wrinkle, utilizing a fullback greater than in earlier weeks, however Bell (18 carries for 59 yards) was unable to get to the second degree. He managed a fourth-quarter landing to ease the frustration, however let’s be actual: His hunt-and-peck working model is not a terrific match with this struggling offensive line, which began its sixth totally different mixture. Frankly, Bilal Powell (seven for 42 yards) was simpler than Bell in a change-of-pace function.
Eye-popping stat: Darnold turned the second Jets quarterback within the final 15 years to have minimums of 200 yards and one landing cross in 4 straight video games. Ryan Fitzpatrick did it in 2015.