Matt Patricia Had A Really Bad Debut As An NFL Head Coach

Todd Bowles has to make his stand now to keep coaching Jets

The 48-17 loss to the New York Jets on Monday night was a terrible debut for new coach Matt Patricia and a nightmare for Stafford, who was intercepted four times in a total debacle for Detroit. First, Darnold moved the Jets 75 yards down the field on six plays, ending the drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Enunwa, who had a strong return after missing all of last season due to a neck injury suffered in practice.

It actually began with a flourish for Detroit when Quandre Diggs intercepted rookie Sam Darnold on the first play from scrimmage and went 37 yards for a touchdown. NY capped the quarter when Isaiah Crowell scored on a 62-yard run with 54 seconds left, making the score 48-17. But considering his performance in terms of rookie first-game efficiency, Darnold (116.8) fit right in between two Hall of Fame Jets rivals, the Dolphins' Dan Marino (108.7) and the Bills' Jim Kelly (119.8). "JETS! JETS!" A crew clad in green and white filed into seats in four sections along the NY sideline and appeared to outnumber Detroit fans who stuck around for the bitter end.

Darnold, the third pick of the April draft named by head coach Todd Bowles on Labor Day as the Jets' opening-night starter, knows he's got a lot on his shoulders, but he's handling it the maturity that teammates, fans and reports have noticed since he arrived.

Darnold's start to this game was pretty much the worst-case scenario.

It once had been a 17-17 game, after the Lions shook up a sluggish start to tie things early in the third.

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The start to Darnold's National Football League career was as ignominious as it gets. He tried to hit Bilal Powell running into space to his left, but Diggs was waiting and pounced on the pass.

Darnold was 11-of-15 for 122 yards and generally stuck to shorter stuff outside of the big throw to Anderson. He took advantage of it, moving the Jets to the end zone in five plays. If they establish the run vs. Detroit, which is a very real possibility, they will lighten Darnold's burden, keep the ball out of Matthew Stafford's hands and keep the score low - which is exactly how they can win. He went 27-for-46 for 286 yards and one touchdown.

The game continued, and the Jets outplayed the Lions in every phase. By the top of the second quarter, he'd more than erased the deficit he'd created in the game's first 20 seconds. Trumaine Johnson, Morris Claiborne and Jamal Adams also picked off passes in a strong start for the Jets self-proclaimed "New Jack City" secondary.

I expect Darnold to play smart, but somewhat conservative football. He threw his first touchdown pass with 1:51 left in the first quarter. It was nearly like the players knew where Stafford was throwing the ball.

Then they piled it on in the second half.

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