The New York Jets entered Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos in the midst of a three-game losing streak. It had not been a good stretch for quarterback Sam Darnold, who threw just two touchdowns compared to four interceptions during that span.
In no way does this mean Darnold’s rookie season hasn’t been good. Any suggestions of that ilk were thrown out the window during New York’s surprising 34-16 blowout win over Denver.
Darnold threw three touchdowns in the win, including this long dart to Robby Anderson. Through five games, the rookie has thrown six touchdowns of 20-plus yards. Shockingly, it’s a number that surpasses what we’ve seen from future Hall of Fame quarterbacks recently.
Sam Darnold has 6 passing TDs of 20+ yards already this year.
Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger had 6 each all of last season. Matt Ryan and Jared Goff had 5. Eli Manning had 4.
— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) October 8, 2018
It’s this big-play ability that has the Jets looking like an entertaining product thus far this season. Darnold continues to connect with his receivers on huge plays, showing the arm strength and accuracy that made him a prodigy-type recruit of USC years back.
Sure it’s not going to help the Jets earn a playoff spot this season. But Darnold’s presence gives the long-downtrodden franchise some hope moving forward. This stat tells us that story in a big way.