Darnold wasn't flawless but he managed the offense better than most expected and delivered on the promise to give Jets fans the hope they desperately need. It wasn't the first time he had been hit hard in the season opener, and he was removed from the game by trainers following the play. By halftime, Matthew Stafford and the Lions were trailing, and in the third quarter, they unraveled completely.
"There's not a lot to be happy here, as far as that's concerned", Patricia said.
The Lions fired coach Jim Caldwell after going 9-7 last season. Stafford was healthy enough to come out for the final Lions drive of the first half and lead the team into the red zone.
Monday's rout brought little reason for optimism.
Darnold is going to have plenty of great plays for the New York Jets, and plenty of mistakes too. "You listen to the coaches, I've watched some of the interviews that he's done...he looks like he is the real deal. And that's going to cost you".
There were boos from the crowd later in the quarter, though.
"I'll take this one", Stafford said.
Watch Roberts evade the first group of tacklers, then tiptoe his way down the sideline to give NY a 21-point lead. Darron Lee returned an interception for a touchdown, and Andre Roberts scored on a 78-yard punt return 67 seconds later.
The run defense, which is supposed to be stouter, gave up 169 yards on 36 carries with a long run of 62 yards by Isaiah Crowell for a touchdown.
"That's called studying", Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson said.
Even worse, consider that the late game featured a major market team from Los Angeles, Jon Gruden's return to coaching, and the fact that the game was competitive; with both teams tied at 13-13 with one minute remaining in the third quarter.
Drafted in the second round of the same year, Smith came out of West Virginia looking to do exactly what Darnold is attempting now - change the quarterback narrative for the team. The crowd cheered when Cassel went in again with 8:15 left in the fourth, but he threw an interception shortly thereafter. "Jets! Jets!" chants that echoed around an otherwise deflated stadium. "At the same time, I'm confident in myself that I can go out there every day and do that".
"I think we've all rallied around each other. We were winning and it got very quiet".
There was nearly nothing for the Lions to feel good about. Kenny Golladay racked up 114 yards on seven receptions, and Golden Tate caught seven passes for 79 yards and a TD. The pass rush managed a couple early sacks after a listless preseason. Diggs had what will probably end up being the easiest pick and touchdown of his career. (Of course, the Lions ended up making the NFC title game that season).