The Jets saw quarterback Sam Darnold return to the lineup and light up the Cowboys en route to a 24-22 win over Dallas, their first of the year. Running back Le'Veon Bell was less of a factor in the outing and that's perfectly fine with him.
Bell averaged 3.6 yards per carry, which came via 50 yards on 14 carries. He did add a touchdown, but Darnold's day stood out, especially after the lackluster quarterbacking the Jets have gotten without him in the lineup.
Darnold had 338 passing yards and two scores with an interception. But whatever gets it done, works for Bell. Moving forward he thinks Darnold's presence will help create a more dynamic attack for the Jets, and the Darnold-Bell, one-two punch will keep opponents on their toes.
"Today, the Cowboys did a really good job taking me out of the game, and other guys were making plays -- and that's how football is supposed to be. They want to stop the run, things like that -- we've got to kill them over the head with pass plays and play action. And that's what we did," Bell said.
"I think we've got to continue to do that because, coming into the game, those guys are going to crowd the line of scrimmage just because of how we've been playing the last few weeks," Bell added. "So we've got to consistently put the ball downfield and guys have got to consistently make plays or they're going to keep playing us like that. So I think today was a great stepping stone for us as an entire offense because we've got to continue to get better because today, I didn't really touch the ball as many times -- I didn't need to -- because we were able to play action and get the ball over the top. Sam was making plays, guys who were on the outside were making plays."
The Jets were certainly a one-dimensional team without Darnold and it hindered Bell's production. Even coming off of injury, the Cowboys still keyed in on the running back instead. But Darnold showed the NFL that he's back and in a big way for Gang Green. As Bell referenced, that could be big news for the former All-Pro the rest of the season.
Plus, things matter schematically, too. Game plans will change and Darnold said the plan against the Cowboys was for him to lead the way with his arm.
"[The Cowboys] just kind of did what they do," Darnold said. "They do it every single week. They just play one high -- occasionally, two high -- they like to stop the run and I knew that I had to throw the ball today to have success, and we did that."
Speaking of game plans, the Jets will have to plan one to perfection next week and both Darnold and Bell have to bring their A-game as a Monday Night Football meeting against the Patriots (6-0) awaits.