By Marquita Quinones // @Latinlove729
Jets 48 – 17 Lions
It’s not where you start, it’s how you finish.
That famous quote definitely applied to the Monday Night Football game between the New York Jets and the Detroit Lions. Starting rookie quarterback Sam Darnold proved this to be true in particular in his debut performance.
Already having the pressure of being the first choice of coach Todd Bowles, and then the added pressure of this being your NFL debut, Darnold had a lot riding on the game. Unfortunately for Sam, it looked like it was going to be a long night.
On his very first play, he rolled out, locked on his target and released the ball but regrettably the intended target was nowhere in sight. However, Detroit Lions cornerback Quandre Diggs was, and he returned that pick for the Lions first touchdown.
Undaunted by his dreadful start, Darnold quickly adjusted, leading the Jets to a 48-17 victory at Ford Field. Darnold finished the night with 198 passing yards and two touchdowns.
New York Jets actually set a franchise record for most points scored in a road game. That put Darnold in the same class as Tom Brady, who in 2001 helped the New England Patriots win by 31 points in his first career start. Not a bad feat for the rookie.
Darnold didn’t have to keep the ball in the air the whole time. Running back Isaiah Crowell was able to rush for 102 yards and had two touchdowns. Receivers Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson were able to get one TD each, and WR Andre Roberts had a punt return of 78 yards for a touchdown.
The Culture has CHANGED!! I’ve been telling y’all… the Jets are DIFFERENT this year. This is just the beginning! pic.twitter.com/exXeJko1qX
But if you thought it was the offense that was the main weapons of the night for the New York Jets, you didn’t see the defense. These guys at one point made you feel like that they had a copy of the Detroit Lions playbook.
Even Lions wide receiver Golden Tate couldn’t fool the Jets defense. He took off to attempt to run a pick route on Jets linebacker Darron Lee, hoping to free up RB Theo Riddick, which should have resulted in a first down. However, Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne was pointing towards the middle of the field anticipating the play. Lee, with Claiborne’s assistance, jumped the route, intercepted the pass, and returned it for a 36-yard touchdown!
After the game, Lee told reporters “We were calling out their plays as he was getting up to the line”. “We knew his signals. We knew everything. That’s just preparation as a defense.”
Claiborne contributed their intense film study on their accuracy against the Lions. He stated, “It was probably one of the best I’ve been around, as far as preparing for the game.” “One of the big things as a defense is we want to talk and certain guys were seeing certain things that show up in reports, stuff like that, and they’re calling it out and got everybody on the same page, so at least we have an idea of what is about to happen or how they are trying to beat us, how they’re trying to hurt us.”
To clarify the whole “signals” thing, it’s called halftime adjustments and film study. Not sure how that’s a bad thing
— Darron Lee (@DLeeMG8) September 11, 2018
The defense ended the night with 3 interceptions and held the Detroit Lions to 17 points. New York Jets as a whole had a great performance. They may not have liked the way they started, but what a finish!
Follow Marquita on Twitter at @Latinlove729