New York Jets: Sam Darnold rookie season statistical predictions

Sam Darnold of the New York Jets (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Sam Darnold of the New York Jets (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Today, we look ahead to the 2018 season for the New York Jets and we predict the statistics for rookie quarterback Sam Darnold.

It’s a new world for the New York Jets. It feels foreign to not be talking about who the quarterback is going to be. We know that at some point in 2018 it will be Sam Darnold. If is not the question, it’s when. He may not start game one which many of us want, but at some point he will take his place under center for the Jets. Exciting times are ahead.

Now that we sit in the calm before the storm, we get to speculate. There is no real NFL news to speak of, so we have to discuss our team in other ways. One way to get that done is by making predictions. Those are great debate topics, are they not? So let’s start making some predictions about the 2018 season.

Since we know he is going to play at some point we start with the aforementioned Sam Darnold. Being the third pick has brought a lot of excitement to New York along with his hair that makes us 40 year olds jealous. Darnold is a bright young man that is getting more and more comfortable with every rep he takes. The team is going to give him every opportunity to open the season as the starter.

However, we also know the faith that Todd Bowles has in Josh McCown. Like it or not, he does. Now, that doesn’t mean he will start the entire year like he would have last year if it weren’t for his injury. It’s different having Bryce Petty in the wings rather than Sam Darnold. McCown will regress towards his career norm. Barring some miracle situation with Teddy Bridgewater, Darnold will play.

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The question is when will he play? He might play week one, but what if he doesn’t? For argument sake and for the purpose of these predictions, we will say that Darnold starts week five.

Why? Well, first of all it’s at home. I understand the defense is tough, but the early part of the schedule is rough. The first three games of the year take place within ten days which is tough on any quarterback.

Learning game plans early will be even faster than normal and they may not want to put Darnold through that. They could begin the era in week four, as the team has ten days off before the game, but that is against Jacksonville. They weren’t called “Saxonville” by accident.

They are an up and coming tough defense that probably shouldn’t be his first exposure to the regular season.

So in this scenario Darnold’s first game comes in week five and he starts 12 games total. That will be taken into account.

Overall he was an accurate passer, with a career completion percentage of 64.9% while at USC. The interceptions, however, did increase from 2016 to 2017. Any observer of his film will tell you that his decision-making hasn’t been perfect.

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Both of those factors have to be taken into account as we try to predict his performance. The speed of the game will increase. Other teams will show him defenses and coverages he has never seen before. This game is not easy, he will have his growing pains.

However, his star power will flash, even in his rookie season. The world will see that the Jets made the right choice. Here are the predictions:

58% completion percentage, 2,900 yards, 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions

Based on the Jets style this is a fair outlook for year one.