With the New York Jets routing the Giants 34-27, two players stood out the most Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams.
Sam Darnold bounced back to the quarterback that was showing promise at the end of the 2018-2019 season. Jamal Adams had a game to remember, proving why New York Jets probably shouldn’t put him on the trading block.
Darnold finished the day with 230 passing yards, 19/30 completed passes, 25 rushing yards, two total touchdowns, and an 86.5 QBR. This was a game that was certainly needed to help boost his confidence after falling to the Patriots, Jaguars, and Dolphins and being mocked for seeing ghosts (he’s not seeing them anymore…hopefully).
This performance by Darnold gave fans hope that 1) he is not a bust, and 2) Adam Gase has not ruined him completely. Watching Darnold, you could see that he was calm, relaxed, and collected as he navigated the pocket, hitting his receivers in stride and making the proper decisions to help lead his team to victory. Thankfully, he didn’t have to worry about the Giants’ 27th ranked total defense (24th in pass defense), according to nfl.com, making this a prime matchup for a quarterback that was getting off track.
Darnold’s ability to take advantage of poor defense, such as the Giants, is something you want to see from not only a struggling quarterback but also from a developing quarterback because it shows that he is capable of making his reads and has right decision making at the professional level. There are very few QBs who enter the league like Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Tom Brady, capable of adapting to the complexity of the NFL within their first two years. If you don’t believe me, let us remind ourselves of the Mark Sanchez, Jamarcus Russell, EJ Manuels, and the list goes on. These quarterbacks are not in the league anymore because, during their tenure, they were unable to prove that they could make the necessary reads and throws required to be a successful franchise quarterback.
As most fans know, it usually takes a few years for quarterbacks fully develop because of the difficulty in understanding the different defensive formations, how to make adjustments at the line, and for the game to truly slow down. It should also be known that QBs usually have a sophomore slump when they do have a decent performance in their first year. So this could’ve been expected from Darnold, unlike the scenario in which he came down with mononucleosis [insert hand over face emoji].
Overall, we should be happy about Darnold’s performance. However, that does not mean we should be pleased with or forgive Adam Gase’s performance as a head coach because I believe that he has played a role in stunting Darnold’s development into the franchise quarterback this team has been wanting for so long.
Adams was another player on the Jets who had a significant impact on the field this past Sunday. Adams finished the game with nine total tackles (8 which were solo), two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one touchdown. Adams’ performance was one that was critical in the Jets’ victory over the Giants. It also landed him the title of AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Thanks to Jamal Adams forcing the turnover and scoring a touchdown, which looked as easy as taking candy from a baby, it was the needed catalyst to shift momentum and help the Jets win.
This type of performance supports the case as to why Adams should be considered a building block for the franchise moving forward. According to Jordan Daiani in the CBS Sports article “Jamal Adams denies he ever requested a trade, says Jets GM ‘went behind his back,” “Ian Rapoport reports that the Jets did engage in talks, and was only willing to part with Adams for a first-round pick and two second-round picks.” I hope that Joe Douglas and Adam Gase realize that Jamal should be part of the team moving forward because it is difficult to find good strong safety play in the league.
Adams is a highly touted strong safety that makes his impact felt all over the field. His numbers may not be awe-inspiring, but by the eye-test, anyone can tell that he is one of the best players on the Jets.
Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling of Sports Illustrated’s, “The Top Ten Safeties: The MMQB NFL Podcast,” have Jamal Adams as the fifth-ranked strong safety in the NFL. Furthermore, about four months ago, Luke Easterling for the Jet Press (a little “homerism” never hurt anybody), he states that “NFL.com recently named Adams one of the league’s top 25 players under 25 years old.” Lastly, don’t forget that Adams was This is the reason what Jamal Adams was an All-Pro safety last year, and will probably be considered an All-Pro again this year.
Adams’s impact on the field is helping the Jets stay competitive. Remember that pick-six he had against the Patriots (first matchup) to help the Jets remain competitive in that game? (Note: I use the term “competitive” here).
Hopefully, the Jets are wise enough to keep Adams around, especially if it is true that he told Jets Management that he’s wanted to be a Jet and desires to bring a championship to New York. He is a special player that adds a lot of intensity, passion, and leadership to the roster.
These qualities are critical to developing a successful team and are not quantifiable by any metric. If you don’t believe me, look at the passion that Ray Lewis had for the Ravens and look how far they went with him.