It’s been a long time coming for the New York Jets. Heading into Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season with a rookie quarterback at the helm and an unproven defense spelled skepticism. Combine that with one of the league’s longest playoff droughts, and it seemed it could be easy to bet against this team on the money line.

However, the unprecedented prevailed.

Sam Darnold’s Debut

Todd Bowles decided to start his rookie in what seemed to be a risky coaching decision. With his seat only getting hotter after back-to-back 5-11 seasons, some questioned the decision.

And many questioned it more after Sam Darnold’s first NFL pass went for a pick-6.

Darnold came out of the gates with a classic rookie mistake, throwing opposite field in attempt to avoid the pressure. Targeting RB Bilal Powell, Lions’ CB Quandre Diggs read the bad throw and took Darnold’s pass to the house.

But Darnold stayed calm and bounced back. Following the interception, Darnold marched the offense down the field, going 6-8 and allowing Isaiah Crowell to find the end zone.

Three series later he made his first big mark in the NFL, finding Robby Anderson on a deep 41-yard pass for his first career touchdown.

And the rookie kept the heat coming. With a 17-10 lead heading into the second half, Darnold later found Quincy Enunwa for a 21-yard snag. His early interception was quickly put behind him.

New Jack City Unveils

While Darnold showed poise in his first career start, his defense and special teams helped him quite a bit as well. Putting early pressure on Matthew Stafford lead to an interception on Detroit’s second drive. In their next eight drives, Stafford would fault to four more interceptions, all while suffering from the pressure of the Jets’ pass rush.

Totaling 5 interceptions was only a small part of the work the Jets’ defense and special teams did. One Stafford pick ended in 6 points for the Jets after Darron Lee took it to the house, ending the Jets’ five year streak without a defensive touchdown. Andre Roberts returned a 78-yard punt to the house shortly after, catapulting the Jets to a 38-17 lead.

To add on to the madness, sophomore safety Jamal Adams recorded his first career interception late in the fourth. All while supporting the defense to limiting Detroit in the run game, allowing only 39 total yards.

What’s Next?

The Jets head back to the Meadowlands next Sunday for their home opener against Miami. While the Jets managed to avoid any major injuries in Monday night’s game, they’ll want to ensure corners Trumaine Johnson and Buster Skrine are 100% after both had to leave the game for injury precautions.

The Dolphins put up a fight on Sunday against the Tennesee Titans, winning 27-20. The Jets now share first place with Miami and New England, and will look to take sole possession of it next week at 1pm EST.

– Kyle Hirshkind is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Jets and covers the New York Jets. Like and follow on

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