The New England Patriots dominated the New York Jets 33-0 Monday night, and Sam Darnold was atrocious. The second-year quarterback finished 11-of-32 for 84 yards, 4 interceptions, and a lost fumble. He posted a quarterback rankings of 3.6.
Tom Curran discussed the Jets quarterback with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, and it sounds like the blame needs to be put on multiple people -- not just Darnold.
"It's partly Gase, partly the offensive line, partly Darnold," Mehta told Curran on Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast. "You're right, Darnold was terrible. He panicked, his footwork was absolutely brutal."
"I'm not going to blame the offensive line coach and then absolve the offensive coordinator because that, in effect, is what Gase does and you need to work in tandem with your offensive line coach to figure out protections and what particular blitz is going to entail. I'm not saying it's all on Gase, because it's clearly not on Gase. But I can't absolve Gase, I think it's a collective effort. Everybody was at fault."
While everyone is to blame, it's easy to acknowledge that Darnold wasn't great on Monday, and Bill Belichick's defense played a role in the Jets QB's misery.
"He didn't see the field well at all. It really, completely the opposite of the week earlier when he saw the field really well against Dallas," Mehta said. "And as you said earlier, this is a great defense. Clearly it's the best defense in the NFL, better than San Francisco. It was a terrible performance, his worst performance in college or the pros. That doesn't mean he's scarred for life. I think the ghost comment will probably stick for a while."
"From what I saw yesterday, they play such smart football," Mehta said. "I don't know how Belichick teaches it or coaches it, but they had that Jets offensive line confused."
While Darnold had one of the worst games of his career, Mehta still thinks Darnold still will have success in the NFL.
"He's shown enough to me that he can still be a very good player. I'm not going to bury a guy after one horrible performance on national TV just because of what I've seen prior to that. I think he'll bounce back. I think he'll play much better and I haven't moved off my stance all along back when he was at USC. I think this guy can be a difference-making player."
Darnold will need to have a huge bounce-back performance for New York against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday if he wants to boost his confidence.
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