It took until Week 9 but it finally happened: the Jets core wide receivers played in a game together. And the results were very encouraging.
Breshad Perriman caught the first deep ball from Flacco for a 50-yard touchdown, as he cooked his defender off the line and showed his deep threat speed that made him so effective with Tampa Bay last season.
Then, Jamison Crowder hauled in a beautiful catch-and-throw TD that required a toe drag from No. 82. And Denzel Mims had himself a few catches to keep his rookie numbers consistent since joining the team.
Overall, Perriman had the most yards -- five catches for 101 and two touchdowns -- while Crowder tallied 26 on two receptions and Mims had four for 62.
Now imagine what can happen when Darnold returns...
Granted the receivers are also healthy, this is what Darnold has been waiting for all season long. In fact, it's probably what GM Joe Douglas and head coach Adam Gase have been dreaming about, too. The third-year signal caller has had practice squad receivers to work with, not the unit (though low on the talent spectrum compared to other teams) the Jets intended to have.
Darnold was working with those receivers even before training camp began, when he set up his own private workouts down in Florida. So the chemistry should be there. And even with Flacco in, you could see that there were options instead of just one guy consistently getting open.
Plays like those to Perriman and Crowder in the first half led to quick scores that were shocking the heavily-favored Patriots. With Darnold having the ability to extend plays outside the pocket and throw darts within it, there's no telling what a deep ball threat and two solid intermediate options can do once he's back.
If Monday night is any indication, it will be a breath of fresh air for Darnold, who has desperately wanted good receivers to work with all season long.