Whether the criticism of his “seeing ghosts” remark was fair or unfair, Jets quarterback Sam Darnold has exorcised them in the best way possible.
By playing well.
After a four-interception disaster against the Patriots on national television — and the remark that made him a punchline for a few days — the second year quarterback impressed his coaches and teammates by burying that game.
“This is the first time I’ve been through a rough spell like that with a really young quarterback,” Jets coach Adam Gase said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. “I thought he handled it really well, considering that was one of those games you want to burn the tape. You want that thing eliminated from your résumé.
“The fact that he handled it as well as he did, I’m sure it wasn’t easy. He never said anything to me. He did a good job of putting his head down, but I’m sure that wasn’t an easy thing for him to do.”
Since that game, the Jets have gone on a three-game winning streak. And while it may not help in terms of this year’s ultimate goals, the growth Darnold has shown should be a good sign for the future.
“Young or not, there was a lot of criticism on him,” veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said. “He dealt with it like a man. He stood up to it and challenged himself.”
He’s thrown seven touchdowns and just one interception in the last three weeks, and has a passer rating over 120 the last two games. With the winless Bengals on deck, he has a chance to add to that hot streak, and continue to grow into his job.