It's been a tough go for the Jets, but did quarterback Sam Darnold fool everyone?
Upon returning to the lineup against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6 after a battle with mono, Darnold led the Jets to a 24-22 win. Since then, the Jets have lost back-to-back games and haven't looked their best.
But Darnold says no. That Week 6 outing is the team he knows the Jets are and can be, not the team that they've been the last two weeks.
"We know we can be that good," Darnold said on ESPN's The Michael Kay Show. "We're capable of doing more than that."
Blame is being tossed all around. From head coach Adam Gase, to the team's offensive line--a group that allowed eight sacks in the Jets' recent 29-15 loss to the Jaguars--to Darnold himself. The ball thrower was 21-for-30 passing for 218 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also fumbled the ball as well.
In light of those questioning the Jets, Darnold said the locker room needs to band together and added if the finger should be pointed at anyone, the second-year pro took the veteran route and said it should be at him.
"Coach Gase called a great game... I mean guys were running open, it's just up to us... for me to really put it on the guy and make sure that we're protected up front," Darnold said. "That's really it."
But Gase took his brunt of the blame as well during a conference call on Monday. He echoed Darnold and the coach said his confidence in Darnold hasn't wavered.
"No, I don't," Gase said when asked if he worries about Darnold. "I really think he did a good job of moving on from the New England game."
"If the answer was that easy, then I would do it," Gase continued. "I've just got to keep looking at, start with the play calls, start with the installations, look at whwat we have in, what we're working on in practice, what we're working on and against. It's just a lot of little, tiny moving pieces that I've got to really that a look at again."
The Jets are certainly under pressure currently and Darnold said his team is locked in on cooling things down with a strong performance and win against the winless Dolphins on Sunday.
"It's a huge game," Darnold said. "We're going to be hyper-focused to beat the Dolphins this week."