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.
Unfortunately for the New York Jets, the game on Thursday night against the Washington Redskins left more questions than answers in regards to who will be the Jets starting quarterback.
Both rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and the more experienced QB Teddy Bridgewater are up for the job. Darnold had somewhat of a shaky start. It was not the performance he was expecting, and am sure Coach Todd Bowles was hoping to see more since Sam had missed the first practice at training camp, but this was not Darnold’s night. Although his performance was not bad, the New York Jets would like to see a clearer picture of who will be there starting quarterback.
Darnold went 8 for 11 and 62 yards. He made some impressive throws, but his last one was a turnover in the red zone. Head coach Todd Bowles did, however, absolve Darnold by blaming the mistake on poor play calling.
The first four all went in the top 10 but it took a while for Jackson to find a home. In what may have been the most joyful moment of the evening for a lot of his fans, the Ravens traded back into the first round to get him at 32. Two went to the AFC North and two went to the AFC East. Both those divisions are going to see the quality of competition rise significantly in the next couple years.
Merry Draftmas! I don’t know about your town, but here in Cleveland, the NFL Draft Talk starts around Thanksgiving, permeates every college football game played during Bowl Season and continues through tomorrow. We over-analyze ever player, statistic, combine exercise, Wunderlick test score, and physical measurement. (Hand Size Matters!)
Next, we listen to every interview available, soak up any social media comments and proceed to dissect the character and intent of every player. We use these things to promote the guy we like and to destroy the guy we don’t. We compare them all to former players in an attempt to make our case For or Against drafting them. And we all behave as if our opinion means something. HA!
Free agency is pretty much on the quiet front with some players still trickling on to teams, such as quarterback Blaine Gabbert to the Tennessee Titans, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to the Los Angeles Rams. But now it’s all about the draft and filling the holes that will make or break a team. So here is my attempt at Round 1 of the NFL Draft.
Last season it was about defenses and backup quarterbacks. It was calm, cool, collectiveness of backup QB Nick Foles who lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a long overdue Super Bowl trophy. All 31 teams were put on notice after that and the QB carousel has been in full swing since the start of free agency.
Just in case some of you have been under a rock, here are the QB changes that have occurred in the past two-weeks of the quarterback matrix.
After a lengthy, but meticulous process, former Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins is now a Minnesota Viking. Washington traded with the Kansas City Chiefs for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 third-round draft pick, making QB Alex Smith a Washington Redskin. Smith signed a four-year, $94 million extension with Washington, while Cousins signed a three-year $84 million fully guaranteed contract.
As usual, the sports talk is all about the NFL Draft here in Cleveland. The biggest question mark on this team is the quarterback and has been for quite a few years. With picks 1 and 4 in the first round, fans are banking on the team being able to finally settle this issue and get the franchise quarterback they’ve been calling for since, frankly, 1999.
I’ve seen Mock Drafts from the experts with no less than six different QBs being taken first overall. The reality of the situation is that it’s not simply a matter of what skills and attributes these college QBs bring to the table. It’s also incredibly important to look at the make-up of the team, the positions of need, and how all of these things are addressed during free agency.
So, with that in mind, my mock draft is simply the two first-round picks based on which Free Agent QB the Browns are able to sign.