QB Sam Darnold - New York Jets

6-4, 225Born: 6-5-1997College: Southern CaliforniaDrafted: Round 1, pick 2018

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 at BUF 67 23 36 199 1 1 3 -2 0 0 11.75

Weekly Performance vs QB 1, QB 12, QB 24

Percentile ranks

Sam Darnold's percentile rank in each category, among QB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 17 vs BUF (23 / 36 / 199 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / -2 / 0 rush)

In the final week of the season, facing a defense and team resting key players, Sam Darnold looked fine, though that's less than what fans were hoping for. His single touchdown went to, of course, Jamison Crowderon a short throw across the middle at the start of the fourth quarter. Darnold's interception in the first quarter was also to Crowder. On the play, Crowder was tightly covered, and Darn old threw the ball too far inside instead of towards the sideline where only his receiver could make a play. As Crowder had to slow down and turn back to the ball, the defender was able to get a body part in the way and disrupt his reception. The ball ricocheted off Crowder and into a defender's hands for an interception. The rest of the day was fairly pedestrian with very few mistakes -- and very few exceptional plays -- for the second-year quarterback.

2019 Week 16 vs PIT (16 / 26 / 183 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 3 / 0 rush)

Darnold didn't have a great game, but he wasn't terrible. For a second year quarterback, it's not really the result you want, but it's an improvement over where he was earlier in the season. He turned the ball over once, when he was strip sacked at the end of the first half. Darnold had about three seconds to avoid the sack which came from behind when the right tackle was completely ineffective. Darnold was in the midst of throwing the ball but it was knocked away. His best throw came at the end of the very first drive of the game, as he hit Robby Anderson with a 23-yard touchdown pass. The play, on a 3rd and 9 saw Darnold take the snap from out of a shotgun formation, while Anderson headed downfield into th end zone. Darnold didn't have much time to throw, and got the ball off just before the defense go to him. Anderson was double covered, but Darnold put the ball high and over the head of both defenders, while Anderson jumped up to high point the pass for a score. After that the Jets were relentlessly conservative, and most of Darnold's long gains came because his receivers did an exceptional job gaining yards after the catch.

2019 Week 15 vs BAL (18 / 32 / 218 / 2 / 1 pass, 1 / 11 / 0 rush)

Once again, Darnold wasn't great but he also wasn't a disaster. He had his second straight game where he had two touchdowns to one interception, but he also fumbled for the second game in a row, this one ending up in the hands of a Baltimore defender. Still, while he's not reaching the heights predicted in August, hes still showing flashes. On his second touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder -- this one late in the game -- Darnold showed poise in a collapsing pocket and patience enough to wait for his receiver to crack enough space for the quarterback to deliver the ball. His throw to Robby Anderson oi the two-point conversion afterwards was also a good one, with Darnold climbing the pocket and then putting the ball where only his receiver could get it. His first throw to Crowder for a score was a nice one as well, as he threaded the ball to his receiver in the end zone, even though Crowder was well covered. Even his fumble wasn't all bad, or all his fault. On the play, Raven Tyus Bowser blew past tight end Trevon Wesco and hammered Darnold's blindside. Darnold could have done a better job holding onto the ball, but ultimately he needed a little more help from the blocker as well. His interception was pretty bad, however, as he wildly underthrew tight end Daniel Brown near the end of the first half, trailing 21-7. It was a terrible place to turn the ball over, and an awful throw.

2019 Week 14 vs MIA (20 / 36 / 270 / 2 / 1 pass, 3 / 3 / 0 rush)

Sam Darnold did enough to win the game - particularly at the end - but it was mostly ugly and the Jets won in part due to a shaky review resulting in a defensive pass interference call to set up the game winning field goal. For some reason, the Jets appear to be moving Darnold out of the pocket less and less, forcing him to stay behind a bad offensive line. It doesn't seem like the offensive is playing to Darnold's strengths, particularly moving outside the pocket. Darnold is also his worst enemy though, missing a wide-open Robby Anderson for what could have been a touchdown and several other receivers during the course of the game. Still, there was that final drive, with Darnold getting the ball trailing 21-19 with just 1:29 left in the game and no timeouts. Darnold nearly got picked off to start the drive, as a defender tried to jump a pass intended for Vyncint Smith, who made the catch and barreled down the sideline for a 37-yard gain. It was a misplay by the defender, as he could have limited Smith on the play if he hadn't tried for the ball and missed. Darnold didn't connect with Jamison Crowder on the next pass, though it was a well-placed ball to the outside of Crowder, who was just too well defended. Darnold was then the victim of a coverage sack, pushing him out of field goal range. Darnold may have been able to throw the ball away, but the pocket disintegrated pretty quickly. Darnold went back to Smith on a short out, but the defender batted the ball away. The officials reviewed the play, and determined the defender was there early, but it was a tough call at that moment, resulting in a first down for New York. Darnold then hit Ty Montgomery on a dump pass, which the running back took for twelve yards and another first down before running out of bounds. The best part of that play was how Darnold didn't force the ball, saw Montgomery open and with room to run and took the play instead of trying to bite off more than he could chew. Darnold has yet to consistently show enough growth in year two, but the final 1:39 of this game was good to see.

2019 Week 13 vs CIN (28 / 48 / 239 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / 9 / 0 rush)

The Jets threw the ball 48 times and ran it just 17 -- against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. With as bad an offensive line as the Jets have, it seems a poor way to position your quarterback for success and the result was that Darnold spent most of the day running for his life as the offensive line failed to block anyone. The Jets never saw t he end zone, and didn't even make it into the red zone on Sunday. All that being said, you can still see some growth in Darnold, as he continues to show improved decision-making and has avoided turning the ball over. Aside from constant pressure, he also had to contend with some drops. Overall, Darnold is far from what we expected this year, but has generally shown improvement.

2019 Week 12 vs OAK (20 / 29 / 315 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 16 / 1 rush)

After three very good games in a row, it might be time to stop doubting Sam Darnold, who had perhaps his best day as a pro against the Oakland Raiders, with a high completion percentage, no turnovers and the second most passing yards of the season. Darnold's passer rating of 127.8 is his best this year and the second week in a row over 120. He's thrown 7 touchdowns and just one interception during this win streak, and his completion percentage of 69 came with a yards per completion average of 10.9, his highest this season. Darnold did a good job of avoiding pressure and making smart choices when protection broke down, including taking a sack rather than forcing a throw at one point. While both of Darnold's passing touchdowns were nice, perhaps his best throw came in the late second quarter on a 3rd and 2 play. During the play, Darnold scrambled to his left, and saw Robby Anderson split the zone between two defenders. Still moving to his left, Darnold squared his body and threw with almost a sidearm motion. Darnold had to thread a needle, getting the pass over the low defender and out of his reach while not sailing the ball long and into the far defender. The throw perfectly did that, clearing the outstretched hands of the first defender and finding Anderson open, hitting him in stride so he could continue upfield for a longer gain. It's not only the sort of throw Darnold used to hesitate with, but one when he did throw it, often ended in an incompletion, or worse, an interception.

2019 Week 11 vs WAS (19 / 30 / 293 / 4 / 1 pass, 2 / -3 / 0 rush)

Since back-to-back bad outings against New England and Jacksonville, Sam Darnold has thrown just two interceptions compared to six touchdowns. Darnold had a season high in passing yards, his second highest yards per attempt on the year with 9.8 and looked both calm and poised under center. Admittedly, Washington's defense is not good in any way, but Darnold did an excellent job looking off the defense, moving through his progressions and stepping away from pressure while keeping his eyes downfield. Those last two parts were on display for his first touchdown, a 20-yard throw to tight end Daniel Brown. On the play, Darnold saw the pocket collapsing and squirted out to his left. He had open space to run, and that pulled defender towards him, including the coverage on Brown. The tight end broke free in the end zone, and Darnold immediately tossed the ball to him before the coverage could react. It was Darnold's fourth complete pass in a row and the fourth week in a row the Jets scored on their opening drive. Darnolds second touchdown throw was more straightforward, bootlegging to his right and hitting Robby Anderson on a corner route in the end zone. His third touchdown showed a great read and quick reaction by the quarterback as Darnold saw Ryan Griffin slip behind coverage in zone and delivered the ball quickly before the defense could adjust. On the fourth touchdown, Jamison Crowder did a nice job getting a few steps on his coverage and Darnold threw a dime, dropping the ball right in Crowder's hands along the sideline, catching the receiver in stride for a score. Darnold continues to still have some bad habits, as we saw on his interception. On the play, the offensive line allowed a lot of pressure and Darnold, throwing off balance overthrew his intended target, right into a Washington defender's hands. It was a bad decision and a bad throw, something which continues to be an issue for the second year quarterback.

2019 Week 10 vs NYG (19 / 30 / 230 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 25 / 1 rush)

Statistically, Sam Darnold's day wasn't terribly impressive. He only completed 52 percent of his passes, and his completion percentage dropped from 55 in the first half to 50 percent in the second. He only had one passing touchdown as well, and the offense struggled to finish drives with points for much of the second half. However, there were signs that perhaps Darnold might be busting out of his sophomore slump. First and foremost, while his offensive line is still atrocious, Darnold looked much more comfortable in the pocket (when there was one) and did a very good job climbing the ladder in it to step up and away from pressure, and showed a good feel for the rush and when to completely bail out of the pocket. On one play in the late third quarter, on a 3rd and 7, Darnold hung in the pocket as long as he could, but there was nobody open. Darnold saw open space in front of him, though, and took off downfield, gaining 24 yards and a first down. Aside from showing off his wheels, Darnold also did a good job of hitting his receivers in stride, as well as avoiding the poor decisions which have plagued him all season. Of course, the Giants defense is as inept as the Jets defense for the most part, so it's hard to read too much into all of this, but it's a good sign that perhaps Darnold might right the ship before the end of the year.

2019 Week 9 vs MIA (27 / 39 / 260 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 1 / 0 rush)

It was another awful performance by Darnold, who at one point had guard Brian Winters yelling at him. Things actually went well on the first drive, as the Jets drove down the field and Darnold connected with Jamison Crowder on a 15 yard pass where the receiver was wide open as he entered the end zone. Darnold and Crowder actually connected four times on that drive alone. After that nice start, however, things went downhill in a rapid fashion. The low points - and there were ample to choose from - were the mishandled snap that resulted in a safety and his goal line interception. On the safety, Winters thought he saw Darnold signal to snap the ball and motioned for the center to do so. Darnold was not ready, and ball sailed past him into the end zone. On the interception, the Jets were on the three yard line of the Dolphins, and Adam Gase called a pass play. The Dolphins easily got through the offensive line, and pressured Darnold who made an ill-advised throw to the end zone where it was picked off. By now, Darnold should know to either throw the ball out the back of the end zone or just take the sack and so his continued inability to make smart decisions under duress - which, admittedly he is under a lot - is a huge concern as this season has been one of massive regression for him. He was sacked just three times Sunday, but the offensive line isn't giving him much help, and the playcalling is not putting him into positions to succeed.

2019 Week 8 vs JAX (21 / 30 / 218 / 2 / 3 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)

This week wasn't awful, but only because last Monday against the Patriots set the bar low. It's hard to gain any real insight into Darnold's ability when he's under constant pressure, and the eight sacks, while a lot, could have been added to if not for the odd timely block or scramble by Darnold. The offensive line is awful, the playcalling is sub-par and doing him no favors, and both are contributing to his turnovers. By the same token, he needs to make better decisions. He forces a ball when he should take a sack or throw it away, holds the ball when he needs to get rid of it or run and generally has regressed rather majorly over the course of those season. Darnold does not look prepared to play since returning to active status, but that could be said of the entire team.

2019 Week 7 vs NE (11 / 32 / 86 / 0 / 4 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)

Every young quarterback has low points, but this was by far the lowest Sam Darnold has ever hit. His decision-making was awful, he consistently threw off his back foot, and he often seemed to have no idea what the defense was doing. His four interceptions were each exemplified by one or all of the problems listed above, two of them in the red zone. He added a fumble during the only time he was sacked. The Jets offensive line was equally putrid in pass blocking, and the Patriots' defense was exceptional, especially when the Jets showed empty backfield. He also had at least two balls dropped which should have been caught, one to Demaryius Thomas for what would have been a big first down in the first half. Darnold rarely got the ball out quickly and the Jets didn't seem to be able to give him quick plays to help with that. Overall, the entire offense was bad and Darnold has never looked this rattled, and while Bill Belichick is a whiz at making first and second year quarterbacks look confused, this was even worse than usual.

2019 Week 6 vs DAL (23 / 32 / 338 / 2 / 1 pass, 5 / 1 / 0 rush)

Whether head coach Adam Gase had been holding back or Sam Darnold is just a pure difference-maker, the reality was that the Jets looked like a decent offense for the first time this season against Dallas. Finally fully healthy after having Mono since Week 1, Darnold did a great job managing the football, knowing when to throw the ball and when to scramble, and finding his receivers. He did have one hiccup, a bad throw that wildly overshot Jamison Crowder for an interception, and gave the Cowboys life, but ultimately that was the only real problem on an otherwise great day. While many will point to his 92-yard touchdown throw to Robby Anderson as his best throw of the day -- and it was impressive as well as the longest touchdown pass of Darnold's career -- another one he made, which was called back on a flag in the second quarter with just under 10 minutes might actually have been better. On the play, Darnold dropped back and had plenty of time to scan the field. He turned left and looked off a defender covering Anderson, who was running a short slant. Meanwhile, Crowder ran a nice dig at the end of his route and the defender couldn't stop fast enough. Darnold easily lifted the ball over the defender covering Anderson to Crowder for what should have been a big gain. Despite the flag, the sequence was a great example of Darnolds patience and vision, as well as his ability to get touch on his passes. Another similar pass came with just 10 minutes left in the first quarter, one where Darnold showed even better accuracy when he hit Crowder in stride, over tight coverage. Back to the Anderson touchdown pass, with Darnold back, the Jets opened up the vertical game, with the second-year quarterback throwing a career-high seven passes of 15 or more yards per ESPN's Rich Cimini. If the protection can keep giving him that time, or he can buy it by scrambling, not only will the Jets be more effective passing the ball, but the run game should open up for Le'Veon ball too.

2019 Week 1 vs BUF (28 / 41 / 175 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)

For all the talk of a dynamic offense and an improved Sam Darnold, Jets fans were treated with none of that in Week 1. Some of that was the very poor play of the offensive line, which left Darnold scrambling too often while under duress. It's worth noting that while the Bills defense was well-reagarded overall last season, they rarely got to the quarterback. So Darnold being hit nine times and sacked four times could be quite the indictment of this offensive line. That said, there were times Darnold just flat out missed throws. Twice it occurred late in the game when the Jets were trailing by one point with just under three minutes to go and both of those times were on deep routes by Robby Anderson where he was open. The first time, Darnold was extremely lucky the defender didn't hang onto the ball, as it was thrown very short on a 3rd and 1 attempt. The second time, just two plays later, was overthrown by a wide margin. There were flashes to get excited about, such as when he scrambled on a two-point conversion attempt before completing a pass to LeVeon Bell. Still, the bad outweighed the good for Darnold this weekend, and hopefully both the line and gameplan will improve soon.


Latest News

Jets | Surgery for Sam Darnold (Fri Jan 10, 04:54 PM) - New York Jets QB Sam Darnold (thumb) underwent surgery Tuesday, Jan. 10, to repair a torn ligament in his thumb, according to sources.

Our View: This thumb injury was something Darnold had to deal with over the last two months of the regular season. Darnold is expected to be ready for the start of offseason workouts.
link to story   

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