Sam Darnold would've loved to got off to a hot start in Year 3 in the NFL, but it was the exact opposite against the Bills on Sunday.
Darnold just didn't look like himself out there. Normally, hitting receivers on the run is something he does with ease, but those targets didn't turn into receptions. And the Jets had three straight three-and-outs to start the game that the Bills took advantage of, racking up points that New York just couldn't claw back from.
Speaking to the media after the game, Darnold took full responsibility for the Jets' mistakes on offense as well as the overall poor play.
"We didn’t execute the way we wanted to in the first half. I put that on my shoulders," he said. "I missed way too many throws today. We had opportunities and I just missed guys. We have to look at the tape and see what happened, but I just flat out missed guys and that’s on me. I got to be better and we got to execute better. It’s as simple as that.”
Jets fans know that when Darnold gets in a groove he starts throwing darts to his receivers. But there was no rhythm built by the offense, and while other factors like lack of run game and Darnold having to scramble a bunch, he was missing receivers like he said and making some bad decisions.
One of them was his interception in the first half that was a clear lack of judgement. Rolling to his left, he tried lofting a ball to Jamison Crowder, who was already tightly covered, and LB Matt Milano came away with the easy interception.
"Tried to fit a ball in there that I shouldn't have," Darnold said.
"It’s inexcusable. There’s no excuses for it."
The Bills defense, which features one of the NFL's best defensive fronts, didn't make things easy for Darnold. However, he did say "their defense is always going to do what they do," knowing they would send tons of pressure.
Overall, it just wasn't the performance the Jets or Darnold expected in this one. And that's why the offensive captain is going to put the blame on himself, get into the film room, and figure out what the Jets need to do to eradicate that performance from their memories and start anew in Week 2.
"Losing sucks no matter who it is. Obviously it’s Week 1. There was some details that we got to figure out and we’re going to figure out."