Another year, another lost season. The New York Jets season officially ended last season when they left Cincinnati with a 22-6 loss against the winless Bengals. The Jets went into this game red-hot, winners of 3 straight, averaging a total of 34 points a game. 3 weeks of great football that had the fanbase buzzing again that something magical might happen to a franchise that things never seem to go right for. Coming off their blow-out of playoff hopeful Oakland Raiders, the Jets schedule lightened up(or so we thought) with the winless Bengals and the two win Dolphins. Jets fans, after watching their team start 1-7, losing to the winless Dolphins, truly thought this team would be a playoff hopeful, 6-7, heading to Baltimore for a Thursday Night Matchup with the league leading Ravens and MVP candidate Lamar Jackson. Some fans thought that would be the night the Jets would be snapped back into reality, facing a probable Super Bowl team, but the thought of having a meaningful mid-december game was a happy thought. Then the Jets well "Jets'ed".
I should have known better, but when I woke up that Sunday I tricked myself into believing they would dominate another winless team, get revenge on the Dolphins for embarrassing them 4 weeks earlier and get to that 6-7 mark. Of course they did not, and all the negative is back surrounding the team. This team is on the verge of more and more years of irrelevance. The last hope to save the Jets franchise from those years of irrelevance lands on the shoulders of Sam Darnold. There has been only one constant positive since the "seeing ghost" Monday Night Game, and that is our Quarterback. The "fundamentally challenged", "terrible footwork", gun-slinger has continued his solid play despite all the adversity this team has faced. Sam Darnold has shown strides of being the franchise Quarterback this team needs for the future. With all the injuries, terrible coaching, and embarrassing loses, Sam is Jets fans only positive aspect of the season we can hold onto. We need Sam Darnold to save us, we need Sam Darnold to take the big quarterback jump in order to put the team on his back and bring the playoffs back to New York. He has all the makings of a star QB and the fans just need the team to just be a tad bit less incompetent in order for him to reach his full potential. Sam Darnold is 4-5 as a starter this year, including one game playing with symptoms of mono. He has not had the same combination of offensive linemen in front of him for any of the 9 games he has played, including having to play with 2 different centers. There might not be another Quarterback that has had a sophomore season as wild as Sam Darnold. This dude has faced so many unforeseen circumstances and adversity that he is built for the future. If the Jets upper management can just execute an offseason plan to protect Sam, then the Jets will easily be 3 or 4 games better than what they finish this year. Just think, the Jets might finish with 6 or 7 wins all while having Sam miss 3 games because of mono, play 1 with mono and all the other injuries I mentioned before. Imagine the thought of less injuries and more consistent line-play in front of him… it would be dangerous.
Now, I am not going to sit here and say Sam Darnold is the greatest QB to ever play the game of football, I am just trying to point out the fact he has dealt with some of the most outrageous set of circumstances any young QB has ever faced but yet has still performed at a high level. With some stability around him Sam Darnold WILL be a star quarterback, and WILL save the New York Jets.