On Thursday night, August 9, the first full week of the 2018 NFL preseason began with 12 games. On Friday night, there were two more contests. The New York Jets hosted the Atlanta Falcons. And in a battle of teams with new head coaches (or in the case of one team a returning coach), Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders welcomed the Detroit Lions and new sideline leader Matt Patricia. Gruden was the leader of the Silver and Black from 1998-2001 and took the team to the playoffs twice. Patricia comes over from the New England Patriots and in recent years was the team’s defensive coordinator.
The Raiders would come away with a 16-10 victory on Friday evening. Meanwhile, a lot of the attention was focused on New York’s 18-0 victory over Dan Quinn’s Falcons. That’s because the Jets were getting ready to feature rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, the third overall pick in April’s NFL Draft. Todd Bowles’ team would start Josh McCown and later put in Teddy Bridgewater. But Darnold was the man many wanted to see and he did not disappoint.
The former product of the University of Southern California completed 13 of his 18 pass attempts for 96 yards and one touchdown. He did not fumble and did not throw an interception. It was a very promising debut for the young quarterback.
The New York Jets have finished with a 5-11 record each of the past two seasons. They have not made the playoffs since 2010. There hasn’t been a lot to cheer about when it comes to this team. It’s only one preseason performance, but Darnold may (emphasis on may) have given the team a glimpse into a promising future.
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