For those who have been following me for a long time, you know that I was super high on Sam Darnold coming out of the 2018 NFL Draft. I thought he was by far the best quarterback in that draft with Josh Allen being 2nd on my ranking. I’m also a person that’s more than happy to admit when I’m wrong. I’m not wrong here. If I were starting a franchise today, I’d still take Darnold and then Allen out of the group of 2018 NFL Draft quarterbacks. You can have Lamar Jackson and I’ll laugh at you when the wheels fall off. Probably not this year but next year. It’s coming.
Speaking of Jackson, I can promise you he doesn’t go 7-6 with the Jets last year. I’d bet every dollar I have. That’s the problem when we have elementary people evaluating the quarterback position. If a team loses, that quarterback stinks. It’s such a fundamentally wrong way to look at any position. That brings me to my talking point today.
Bill Barnwell of ESPN recently posted a column titled ‘Is this Sam Darnold’s last chance? A progress report on the Jets QB and what to expect in 2020’. HUH? Barnwell used to be a person I semi respected at ESPN. Not anymore. It’s clear he falls into that category. “Team loses, quarterback stinks”. Those people don’t know football and that’s ok. I’ll gladly educate those people.
I talked about this not too long ago, but I’m happy to bring it up again. NOBODY has less help right now than Sam Darnold. In my previous post, I didn’t even bring up Adam Gase. I won’t do it again even though I probably should. Darnold faced pressure on 42 percent of his drop backs. That was tied for the league lead with Daniel Jones. The only difference is Jones fumbled 18 times.
We need to stop using Deshaun Watson as the example here. It’s basically impossible to win football games with an atrocious offensive line. Yes, Watson has eyes in the back of his head. Nobody else can win games with that bad of an offensive line. Andrew Luck is a perfect example. For years, those same elementary fans banged on Luck for being overrated despite being put in a terrible situation with the Colts. As soon as he got even a little bit of help, he was carrying his team to a conference championship.
You blamed Luck for all the wrong reasons. Now you’re doing so again with Darnold. I guess it’s not surprising. It’s a miracle Darnold went 7-6 and spent some of that time recovering from mono. Most humans are dumb. I just didn’t expect Barnwell to be one of those. It’s a shame. Don’t be the guy who is basing quarterback performance on win or loss. That’s reserved for 4th graders. Last chance? Darnold is literally the only positive with the Jets. Not an exaggeration.
Oh, let’s get to the rest of his supporting cast. You all told me how great Le’Veon Bell is. 3.1 yards per carry later. It doesn’t matter if it was the offensive line or the poor running game, Darnold got zero help in that department. He won’t get help in 2020 either unless Bell gets cut. Who else deals with a running back that bad?
You want to talk about weapons? Let’s talk about them. Quincy Enunwa broke his neck and Chris Herndon is a disappearing act in more ways than one. Robby Anderson was the number one target last year. Did the Jets keep him? Of course, not. It’s Breshad Perriman who’s largely been a bust. Denzel Mims who can’t catch. Oh, and something called Vyncint Smith. But hey, I guess that’s Darnold’s fault too.
Let me give you some facts Barnwell. During the stretch the Sam Darnold was out (Week 2 – Week 5) the Jets ranked 31st in points per game (7.7), last in yards (165), last in pass yards (139.7), and last in first downs (28). You can use whatever stats you want. It’s a miracle Darnold performed as well as he did with the supporting cast. Without him, the Jets would have had the number one pick by a mile and wouldn’t have won a game.
Already time to give up? I hope the Jets are as ignorant as Barnwell is. I’d love nothing more than to see Darnold on a team that gives him even a little support. There is going to come a time where all of you will owe Sam Darnold an apology. Just don’t come crying back when you were wrong. I’m calling you out, Barnwell. Just remember when that time comes. Your article is laughable.