Sam Darnold and the New York Jets were done in by five Dustin Hopkins field goals, but saw promise from Teddy Bridgewater in a 15-13 Redskins defeat in Landover.
New York Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold checked a few more landmarks off of his preseason checklist, including his first NFL start.
Points, however, were at a premium.
Darnold played the entire first half and continued the conservative theme from last week’s opener, completing 8-of-11 passes for 62 yards and an interception, as the Jets fell to the Washington Redskins by a 15-13 final on Thursday night at FedEx Field.
With the Jets’ offensive line decimated from top-to-bottom, Darnold found himself on the run for a good portion of the night. The first drive ended with Darnold meeting another first-round pick, defensive tackle Daron Payne, who brought him down for a sack.
Daron Payne's first sack with the #Redskins. Working vs RG, catches him lunging, clubs inside and chases down Darnold for the sack pic.twitter.com/UBGPFK4qjx
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) August 17, 2018
Prior to Darnold’s debut, the Jets defense struggled to stop the Redskins’ top offensive unit, as veteran quarterback Alex Smith made his unofficial Washington debut. The Redskins carved up the Jets’ starting unit, going 71 yards on 11 plays, though the Jets were able to limit damage to a Dustin Hopkins field goal.
Darnold’s most successful drive was his second, a 12-play, 42-yard trek begun on their own 40 after a Hopkins kickoff, shortly after he made it 6-0 Washington, went out of bounds. With the help of receiver Tre McBride, Darnold converted two third downs, and the drive ended on a Taylor Bertolet field goal.
Not ☝️, but ✌️ FIRST DOWNS from Sam Darnold to W&M alum Tre McBride (@Uno_Dos_Tre3)! Both players running with the #1 unit, video of 2nd completion below. LET’S GO TRIBE. ??? #risingtribe #onetribe #NYJets pic.twitter.com/cKbLq5Ipde
— W&M Sports Blog (@wmsportsblog) August 17, 2018
Washington (1-1) again ventured into Jets territory on the ensuing possession, but the Jets (1-1) prevented further scoring when safety Doug Middleton intercepted a Colt McCoy pass off the hands of receiver Cam Sims.
You don't want that?
@21DM_ERA will take it. #NYJvsWAS pic.twitter.com/F8paOae2cH
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 17, 2018
Unfortunately for the Jets, Darnold got his first NFL interception out of the way on a failed fourth down deep in Washington territory. Looking for Jermaine Kearse, his pass was intercepted by safety Troy Apke.
The Redskins would go 72 yards on 11 plays to not only kill the half, but score another Hopkins field goal to go up 9-3 at the half.
The @PennStateFball rookie Troy Apke picks it off! #NYJvsWAS pic.twitter.com/YNsz0XTk63
— NFL (@NFL) August 17, 2018
Teddy Bridgewater entered the game in the second half, playing the entire game. He went 10-for-15 for 127 yards with one touchdown and one interception against the Redskins reserves. He guided the Jets to 10 points, including a 16-yard scoring pass to Charone Peake.
Oh wow, Charone Peake! ???#NYJvsWAS pic.twitter.com/77E5kIQfAo
— NFL (@NFL) August 17, 2018
Bridgewater did throw an interception later in the evening, victimized by Prince Charles Iworah on the first play of a drive, attempting to force a ball to Charles Johnson.
After the Redskins went back up via another Hopkins field goal, Bridgewater took the Jets on an 11-play, 64-yard drive that concluded with another Bertolet field goal. The victory was not to be, however, as the Redskins, energized by third-stringer Kevin Hogan and a penalty on Jets defender Rashard Robinson, concluded things with Hopkins’ fifth field goal of the evening, giving Washington the win.
The Jets return to preseason action next week, engaging in their annual exhibition showdown with the New York Giants on Friday, Aug. 24 (7:30 p.m. ET, WCBS).