FLORHAM PARK - Last Monday was a great day to be a New York Jets Fan when the local sports airways were filled with praise for quarterback Sam Darnold who looked and played the best he has since his stunning win against Dallas on October 13. Monday was Darnold loving day.
Sunday, November 17, the New York Jets play the Washington Redskins. Will this Monday be Darnold loving or Darnold bashing? 60 minutes of play will tell.
I feel for the young quarterback and his teammates. I understand emotions. I can’t fathom the feelings running though Darnold’s mind after a devastating loss, like the one the New York Jets had against Miami and New England; the noise in his head must be like a swarm of a thousand angry bees leaving their nest. The pain inside of all the Jets players must be enough to break their mother’s hearts.
But then there’s the absolute thrill of beating the Cowboys and the Giants. It’s a roller coaster season to say the least. Diehard fans stick it out and support their team. On October 21, after the loss to the Patriots, Darnold was asked on how the team will move past the game. The answer turned out to be an unexpectedly positive one.
“I think for us, we’ve got a good locker room,” Darnold said. “We’ve got guys that love working and they’re going to come back tomorrow and work really hard.”
Camaraderie in the locker room is one detail fans need to hear more of than team bashing. Darnold was asked in that interview if he was concerned about putting this game behind him. His answer will surprise you, coming from a young man who just turned 22 this past summer.
“I’m going to put this behind me after tomorrow,” Darnold said. “The outside noise doesn’t bother me at all. People are going to say what they want, but for us as a team, we’ve just got to continue to work hard.”
Le’Veon Bell gave Darnold words of encouragement after the Patriot loss.
“There are games like that where you don’t play well,” Bell told Darnold. “You know you can only play better from here on out, you can’t play worse than you did tonight.”
Those are the words from a veteran player helping his teammate stand positive and strong through the rough times.
Move forward a few weeks and securing a win against the Giants, Darnold was asked how he viewed the stretch from New England to Miami on Monday after the game.
“It was really about just making sure that I played great, consistent football throughout an entire football game,” Darnold said. “I felt like I did that this last game (against the Giants) and just looking to continue to build off of that as we continue.”
Darnold gets his chance to show he’s consistent against the Redskins, whose record is 1-8. I’m betting on a Darnold loving Monday.