The New York Jets have officially turned over the offense to new face of the franchise Sam Darnold.
The No. 3 overall pick from Southern California was named the starting quarterback by coach Todd Bowles on Monday as the Jets close in on their Sept. 10 opener against the Detroit Lions.
Darnold will become the youngest opening-day starting quarterback in NFL history at 21 years, 97 days when he takes the field for the Monday night contest against the Lions.
“We feel like he gives us a good chance to win,” Bowles told reporters. “We’re not starting him because he’s a rookie and he’s not ready. We’re starting him because he gives us a good chance to win the game.”
Darnold competed with veteran Josh McCown and offseason acquisition Teddy Bridgewater during training camp. The Jets recently shipped Bridgewater to the New Orleans Saints.
Darnold completed 64.4 percent of his passes in the preseason for 244 yards and two touchdowns. He was intercepted just once in 45 attempts.
Bowles said the competition was really close and that he feels the team could also win with McCown at the helm. But overall, he felt going with Darnold is the right call.
“Sam’s got feet to get himself out of trouble, probably, and he has a good pocket feel,” Bowles said. “He’s probably a little quicker and a step quicker than Josh at this point. Josh obviously is smarter playing in the league longer, but Sam picks things up very well also. But it’s good to have a quarterback that can throw and move his feet.”
Darnold will be thrust into the fire with New York opening with three games in 11 days. After the opener in Detroit, the Jets host the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 16 and finish the stretch four nights later in Cleveland against the Browns in a Thursday night affair.
Darnold will eclipse former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe (21 years, 203 days in 1993) as the youngest opening-day starter.
—Field Level Media