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12 minutes ago, joewilly12 said:

The hidden beauty of Sam Darnold’s clutch Jets comeback

December 8, 2019 | 8:13pm


The finish was a good start.

If Sam Darnold is going to realize the lofty potential the Jets drafted him for at No. 3 overall in 2018, he’ll need more of what he delivered Sunday at MetLife Stadium: A clutch fourth-quarter comeback drive that sent the Jets home 22-21 winners.

It was not a work of art. The game, in fact, resembled a pillow fight at times between the tanking Dolphins, who are now 3-10, and the Jets, who are 5-8.

But the end result is all that matters.

And the way it was done — Darnold and the Jets taking over possession of the ball trailing 21-19 with 1:29 remaining in the game and no timeouts — can do nothing but boost the confidence of the young, developing quarterback when he steps under center for the next comeback opportunity.

“We work on that so much in the offseason and in practice and to be able to execute that in a real game is huge for our confidence,’’ Darnold, who finished 20 of 36 for 270 yards, two TDs and an INT, said.



Fourth-quarter comebacks have defined some of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Peyton Manning is the NFL’s all-time leader bringing his team back from a fourth-quarter deficit to win, having done it 54 times in his brilliant career.



The players who follow Manning on that stat sheet are no slouches themselves: Drew Brees has 50, Dan Marino 47, Tom Brady 44, Brett Favre 43, Ben Roethlisberger 42, John Elway 40 and Johnny Unitas 38.

The common denominator among those eight players: If they’re not already in the Hall of Fame, they’re headed there.

Sunday was the third such fourth-quarter comeback victory of Darnold’s young career, which is only 23 starts old.

He led the Jets to a 27-23 win over the Bills last season with the game-winning touchdown scored with 1:17 remaining. And he led the Jets to 10 fourth-quarter points earlier this season in a 34-27 win over the Giants.

The Jets’ all-time leader in fourth-quarter comeback victories is Joe Namath with nine. Ken O’Brien has eight, Vinny Testaverde five and Chad Pennington and Mark Sanchez each have four.

So, Darnold doesn’t have a large hill to climb in the Jets’ record books to overcome those players. And, if you listen to his teammates, you get the feeling that there will be plenty more to follow.

“He was in total control,’’ receiver Demaryius Thomas said.

“He was poised,’’ receiver Jamison Crowder said.

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“He treated it literally just like practice,’’ left tackle Kelvin Beachum said.

“Sam was the same as he was every other drive,’’ center Jonotthan Harrison said. “That’s a good thing about Sam — he doesn’t fluctuate with his personality and demeanor.’’

The comeback drive was ignited by a 37-yard pass play to receiver Vyncint Smith on the first play of the series to give the Jets a first down at the Miami 38-yard line. Other than Sam Ficken’s game-winning 44-yard field goal as time expired, it was the play of the game.

“That play was a game-changer for us,’’ Harrison said.

There was some nuanced hidden beauty to that play that accentuated Darnold’s development.

Two possessions earlier, Darnold had a third-and-6 pass intended for Crowder batted away by blitzing cornerback Nik Needham, forcing the Jets to punt and leading to a Dolphins drive that would end in a field goal to give them an 18-16 lead with 6:59 remaining in the game.

On that pivotal 37-yard Smith catch-and-run play, the Dolphins ran the same cornerback blitz with Needham charging from Darnold’s right and Darnold this time recognized it more quickly and got the ball out to Smith over the outstretched arms of Needham.

“He was alert, because they did that play before and [Darnold] didn’t see it and [Needham] batted it down,’’ Thomas said. “That’s big for him, especially for a young guy. It gives him more confidence. It makes him grow faster.’’

Another hidden nugget to the story is the fact that Darnold played against Needham in high school — Darnold at San Clemente in California and Needham, who’s a rookie this season, at Buena Park.

Harrison said Darnold recognizing that same Needham blitz play and beating it when it counted most “shows his maturity and it shows his potential.’’

Darnold has thrown nine TD passes to only two INTs in the Jets’ past five games, four of which have been wins.

“He’s a player,’’ Crowder said. “He’s a baller. And he’s only going to get better with experience. I’m excited to play alongside him. We’re going to go as far as he takes us


Kind of amazing that this doesn’t mention that he took a sack on third down with less than a minute remaining and no timeouts that pushed the LOS nearly back to midfield. 

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2 minutes ago, southtown24th said:


And he was bailed out by a shaky PI call from the booth on the ensuing 4th and 17

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6 minutes ago, Maxman said:

He was bailed out because it doesn't fit your narrative? There was PI. The refs called PI.  The 22 year old QB won a game that he started and learned a few things. He also led his team down the field on a game winning drive. Good stuff. 

He was bailed out because he put us in a 4th and 17 and didn’t do anything to get us out of it.

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8 minutes ago, Maxman said:

That's weird, they must show different stuff on TV. The game I watched in person the Jets never took a snap on 4th down because Darnold was about to complete a pass on 3rd down and then there was pass interference.

Sorry, the sack was on 2nd down, not 3rd. Still bad!

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17 minutes ago, Maxman said:

The guy's article mentions that it's not a work of art and says the end result is all that matters.

Yeah for some reason the end result isn't good enough for some reason. Weird. 

The 22 year old QB led the team on a 4th quarter comeback. But let's keep talking about a sack that didn't cost the game. 

Talk about picking and choosing to fit a narrative.

The only person who has a narrative here is Cannizzaro, who literally wrote a narrative in which he included the plays that fit and ignored the ones that didn’t.

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20 minutes ago, Maxman said:

He started the article by saying it wasn't pretty. He didn't list every good play. He isn't the only one with a narrative.

Ok, well here’s me starting out by saying the young QB leading a 4th quarter comeback is great, especially against a division rival, especially especially the Dolphins, who are the most loathsome professional sports franchise in existence. My narrative is solely that he also made a terrible play in a crucial situation that would have lost the game 90% of the time, and the only reason we fell into the 10% this time is because the officials decided to reverse a PI non-call for once. That’s all.

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