At only twenty-one years old, Sam Darnold made his NFL debut with the New York Jets in their week one game against the Detroit Lions. He’s the youngest player to start in week one almost seventy years. However, the USC alum did not have a good start to his professional debut. He threw an interception, Quandre Diggs returned 37 yards for a touchdown– the heart-breaking “pick-six.”
Sam Darnold's first career NFL pass is a pick-6!
(📍 ESPN, 7:10pm ET)pic.twitter.com/MBK8gJaQec
— ESPN (@espn) September 10, 2018
Despite his initial mishap, Darnold turned out to have a pretty good game. He led the New York Jets to a 48-17 win, the most points that the Jets have ever scored on the road. Beyond his pick-six, he only threw four incomplete passes. His nerves must have been out of control, but managed to forward with his play. He ended up throwing two touchdowns, one to Quincy Enunwa and one to Robby Anderson (below).
Sam Darnold with a rope for his first career TD pass 🔥
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 11, 2018
The Jets’ defense also played a critical role in securing New York’s Sunday night win. The defense claimed that they could easily tell what the Lions’ quarterback, Matthew Stafford, was calling. This was demonstrated when Darron Lee, a linebacker for the Jets, returned the favor by getting a pick-six. Stafford threw four interceptions. The players attributed their anticipation of the plays to intense film preparation for the defensive line. It was a disastrous third quarter for the Lions; the Jets scored a total 31 points, 21 of which were scored in 2 and a half minutes.
Other quarterbacks who have thrown pick-sixes on their first NFL throws include Brett Favre, who has had a very successful professional league career, and Jameis Winston, who was the 2015 first draft pick and was recently suspended for inappropriately groping a female Uber driver in Arizona.
All in all, the Jets could be a competitive team this year with a highly-anticipated, young quarterback to lead them. The Lions, on the other hand, need to fine-tune some of their offensive work.
The Jets will play the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 16th at 1 p.m. ET. The Lions will play the San Francisco 49ers next on Sunday, September 16th at 4:05 p.m. ET.
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons