When the Jets hired Adam Gase as their new head coach, much was made of what the move would mean for quarterback Sam Darnold‘s development in his second NFL season.
Thanks to a bout of mononucleosis, answers on that front were delayed. Darnold’s return was a positive moment as the Jets beat the Cowboys, but the next three weeks were filled with turnovers, sacks and poor play that had some discussing Darnold’s regression from his rookie season.
The pendulum swung back the last two weeks as the Jets put up 68 points in back-to-back wins. According to Darnold and Gase, a meeting between quarterback and head coach a couple of weeks ago played a big role in pushing things on a better path.
Darnold told Gase the things he felt most comfortable doing in the offense, which Gase said at his Monday press conference “makes it easier because now you’re not guessing” about what’s best for the unit.
“I think it was really important for me at the time because I felt like I had a lot better understanding of the offense at that point during the season and I felt like I knew the offense well enough to go in and have a really good conversation with him about it,” Darnold said on Monday, via the team’s transcript of his press conference. “That’s really all it was. As an offense, I feel like we’ve been able to find our rhythm and it’s been really good. Hopefully we can continue that this week.”
The Raiders have forced seven turnovers and picked up 12 sacks the last three weeks, so the Jets’ newfound offensive momentum will be put to a pretty good test at home in Week 12.