There was hope for the New York Jets and especially their young quarterback, Sam Darnold, entering the 2019 season. That hope flew out the window when Darnold went down with mono. But then Darnold returned and led the team to an unexpected win over the Dallas Cowboys. So, all is right in the world for Jets fans. Right?
That appeared to be the case a few weeks ago—but then they played the New England Patriots, and Darnold uttered that fateful phrase that he can’t seem to shake:
The “ghosts” harassed Darnold relentlessly throughout the night, and he ended up having one of his worst games as a pro. But it was the Patriots—Bill Belichick can make everyone look bad. Yes, fans should hope for more out of their quarterback, and he should be able to give them more no matter who they play.
But the Patriots defense is something else. So, maybe we shouldn’t crucify Sam Darnold too much for his four-interception game against them.
Of course, the “ghosts” thing is going to follow him around for a while. Fans just don’t let something like that go too quickly. The Jacksonville Jaguars certainly had fun with it the following week:
Harmless trolling, right? Maybe not. Darnold went on to throw three more interceptions, and the Jets lost to the Jaguars, 29-15. But there was relief in sight for the embattled quarterback. Darnold and the Jets had a get-right game the following week against the winless and terrible Miami Dolphins.
Surely, Darnold can handle the Dolphins and get things back on track—right? At first, it looked like he was going to do just that:
But then the ghosts returned, only this time Darnold didn’t always see them.
Darnold only had one pick on the day, but he failed to lead the team to a win over one of the worst teams in recent history.
What has to be frustrating for the Jets and their fans is that they know the team can play well. The win over Dallas wasn’t a fluke. Yes, Dallas may have had an off day, but so off that they lost to the same Jets fans have been watching since then? Not likely.
There is talent on the team; they just need to remember that, and it starts with Sam Darnold. His medical issues seem to have been dealt with. It was unfortunate that his “ghosts” comment was captured on-air and broadcast to the world. But if his confidence is so fragile that it can’t handle the media and Twitter trolls making fun of him, then he may need to find another career field.
Maybe he needs to embrace it all – laugh at himself so that it doesn’t seem as funny to the rest of the world anymore. Perhaps he needs to embrace the specters, recognize them, and then call in some help.
After all, Bill Murray seems to be looking for work.
With help from the Ghostbusters, maybe Darnold can finally move past the mental wall he’s built up and start playing quality football again. If he doesn’t, the Jets are going to earn a top-five pick in the next draft, and there are going to be a number of exciting quarterbacks available.
Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:15 PM