The New York Jets have officially named a starting quarterback for Week 1 of the 2018 season. Sam Darnold will become the youngest rookie starting quarterback in NFL History.
It was widely speculated and now, it has been confirmed: the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Sam Darnold, will start for the New York Jets in their Week 1 matchup against the Detroit Lions. Head coach Todd Bowles confirmed the news in his opening press conference on Monday.
That should be news to Darnold, but not the rest of the NFL. When Sam was asked on Monday whether he knew, he said that head coach Todd Bowles had not revealed his decision. Perhaps a bit of gamesmanship?
Although the secrets and surprises would’ve made sense if there was any chance of real truth, which there wasn’t.
The Jets only have two quarterbacks on the roster, a veteran in Josh McCown and the aforementioned Darnold. McCown had barely taken reps through training camp and the preseason, if he would’ve been announced the starter Week 1, it would’ve been one of the biggest surprises of the NFL calendar.
But that didn’t happen. Darnold accomplished something Christian Hackenberg simply couldn’t last year: taking advantage of opportunities.
Sam was given the keys to the franchise, all he had to do was seize it, and that’s what he did. He didn’t light up the scoreboard in the preseason: 83.9 quarterback rating, 64 percent completion percentage and just one interception in the preseason.
But he showed maturity, poise and, most importantly, he held onto the football. The problem with the other two rookie quarterbacks that have started from Week 1 in Jets history (Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith) was their propensity to turn the ball over and put the team in terrible positions.
The organization believes that Darnold is a heady quarterback who won’t do too much, he’ll take what’s there. Sometimes it won’t be sexy, but it’ll be effective.
I imagine Jets fans will welcome that with open arms. We’ll get our first look at the Sam Darnold era officially in primetime on Monday Night Football.