Sam Darnold’s 2020 season
This brings us to 2020, a year most would like to forget and that includes Sam Darnold. Coming off that year of improvement, in which he had a better completion percentage than all but the 2018 season of Cam Newton’s tenure with the Panthers, the third-year starter went 2-10 while struggling with control for most of the year.
Darnold only had four games last season with more touchdowns than interceptions and multiple with no scores at all. Finishing the campaign with only nine touchdowns to offset his 11 interceptions on the year. A season that also cost Gase his job.
While that regression is certainly a concern, one wouldn’t hold the 2020 campaign against anyone with how odd it became. Darnold also flashed some of his early career potential with late-year wins against the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns.
One important asterisk to Darnold’s career with the Jets is during his time there he never had stability at any level and the team never produced a 1,000-yard receiver or rusher. That level of inconsistency in the front office – never committing to rebuild or compete – and a lack of weapons tends to hinder development.
Despite all of that, Darnold showed promise which should be encouraging.