Cleat Geeks

Gang Green Report

There were definitely a lot of positives to pick out of the Monday Night Football game for the New York Jets. They dominated at all aspects of the game. Sam Darnold looked like he was ready to be a major impact for the next decade, the defense played well with five interceptions (almost six), and special teams was ready to go. As great as the game was for Jets fans, it is time to pick some of the positives and negatives, as well as preview the home opener against divisional rival Miami Dolphins.

Sam Darnold 

The story was told many times during the broadcast on ESPN and probably around many televisions as well. Sam Darnold was the third quarterback in the past 25 years to throw an interception on his first career pass attempt. Not a great way to start your NFL career by any standard but I was glad he did.

The hardest place to play is on primetime inside of a dome on the road, which by the looks of things, didn’t affect Darnold. If you have a negative against Darnold coming out of college it was the 22 interceptions as a Trojan. If you watched closely, he didn’t react to the pick-six until the PA announced it afterwards while Darnold was already on the sideline. The relationship between Darnold and backup-quarterback Josh McCown was apparent. As soon as Darnold threw the interception, McCown talked to him and continued to look forward from there. McCown is probably the best mentor that Darnold can have, a journeyman quarterback that has seen it all in the NFL.

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Darnold settled down and finished the game 16 of 21 for 198 yards with 2 touchdowns and the interception. The Lions are not a pushover on defense either but completely fell apart in the second half of the game. Darnold did have some impressive continuation of drives on third down plays.


If you were to tell me the Jets would allow one touchdown and five interceptions through the air against Matt Stafford (and a few throws by Matt Cassel), I would probably laugh. This defense is close to being special. They did this without their starting free safety Marcus Maye either and looks like he is making progress of being a gametime decision for the Dolphins game. Darron Lee had two interceptions while Jamal Adams, Trumaine Johnson, and Morris Claiborne each had one themselves. Rookie Parry Nickerson almost had himself one just before halftime but his one foot landed on the white chalk in the endzone while catching the ball.

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This isn’t shocking from Detroit but the Jets were able to stop the running game from the Lions completely. The Jets only gave up 39 yards on the ground during Week 1 and that is key to weakening opponents since the offense becomes more predictable. It is difficult to say the Jets will have the same result against Miami’s rushing, but they can hold the Dolphins without a 100-yard rusher this week if they continue to blast the A gaps as they were able to last week.

Week 2 Preview

The Dolphins are coming off a 27-20 victory against the Tennessee Titans in their first game. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was 20 of 28 but threw for 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions during the game. The Jets should be able to stunt the run game from the Dolphins and get some pressure on Tannehill during the game. The Jets are 2.5-3 point favorites in most sporting books and I would take that bet as I see the Jets picking up the win 24-20. The Dolphins’ defense did force 3 interceptions on the Titans (2 on Marcus Mariota and 1 on Blaine Gabbert), but the Titans aren’t the best measuring stick on offense either. This game should be close and if the Jets start off hot out of the gates, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them attempt to make a big move to help win now.


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