Following a game in which the Jets scored a season-low six points in their loss to the Dolphins, quarterback Sam Darnold pointed the finger at himself.
“I thought I played stupid football yesterday and I just have to be better,” Darnold told reporters after watching the tape Monday. “I know that, coaches know that, everyone knows that.”
The rookie signal caller completed 21 of his 39 passes for 229 yards and threw a season-high four interceptions, one of which was returned by linebacker Jerome Baker for the game’s lone touchdown. The 21-year-old said what’s most frustrating about his performance is that he believes the rest of the offense played well as the Jets outgained the ‘Fins by 114 yards.
“If I didn’t turn the ball over, I felt like we had a good chance to win that ballgame,” Darnold said. “I thought our offensive line, receivers and running backs did a great job during the game. The tight ends as well. If I don’t turn the ball over, I feel like it’s a different story.”
Darnold said he got in his own head, which made him second-guess and force some throws that resulted in the interceptions. Head coach Todd Bowles took some of the blame off of Darnold’s shoulders, although he agreed the fist-year passer made a couple bad throws.
“It’s not just Sam. It’s the team, period,” Bowles said. “Yesterday was mainly the offense. There were tweaks here and there, but we just have to play better and execute as a whole. It’s not just Sam, it’s based upon the whole team.”
Bowles said he’s “very concerned” about the lack of offensive production over the last three weeks as the unit is averaging 251 yards and 11 points per game in that span. With that being said, the Jets have an opportunity to end a three-game losing skid Sunday against a struggling Bills team that averages a league-low 10.7 points per game and has only scored three touchdowns in their last six games.
“I think it’s huge. It’s our next game, it’s a division rivalry,” Bowles said. “We let a couple of them go, especially this tough one we just lost yesterday. We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end and we didn’t pull it out. Winning takes care of a lot of problems and issues. It’s important for us to win the next ballgame.”
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After saying he was “dinged” following Sunday’s game, Darnold said he’s fine and only has a couple bumps and bruises. … Bowles said he’ll monitor C Spencer Long’s finger injury that sidelined him towards the end of the game. … DL Tarell Basham had tests run on his knee and the severity of the injury is unknown.