Sam Darnold became the third quarterback since 1991 to throw a pick-six on his first-ever NFL pass, but he probably wasn't surprised by what happened. It turns out, he predicted it two months ago.
On Thursday, the Jets released a clip from their most-recent episode of "One Jets Drive." In that clip, which the Jets say is from two months ago, Darnold accurately predicted that he'd start off with a horrible throw before settling in and rolling.
"I'll be nervous for sure," he said in the clip below. "I remember the first snap of the Rose Bowl or at least my first pass, I just dirted it to JuJu. I threw it at his feet. I was so nervous. But then once I got my couple throws in, I was rolling after that.
"I think that's how it's going to be. Or at least that's how I've pictured it and kind of dreamed about it. Maybe having -- hopefully not picks -- but a couple bad throws. And then once I get rolling, once I get to used to the speed, once everything starts clicking, I just feel like I'll roll."
Darnold was right about his game starting with a horrible throw. Unfortunately, he didn't avoid the interception.
Darnold was also right about settling in. Jets and gave them the lead." He would go on to throw two touchdowns during the blowout and avoided throwing any more picks., "Darnold proceeded to go 6 of 8 on his next three series, 23 total plays that generated 10 total points for the
Darnold finished 16 of 21 for 198 yards, two touchdowns, one pick, and a 116.8 passer rating. He wasn't spectacular -- and the Jets' defense, special teams, and running game contributed just as much to the win -- but considering how his night began, his debut should be considered a success. There's no doubt that the word "poised" has been overused to describe his debut, but he does deserve credit for not letting the first snap of his career derail the rest of his first night.
As a result, Darnold became the first quarterback since Tom Brady in 2001 to win his first-career start by 31 points, Again, that has a lot to do with the all-around team effort by the Jets and the all-around team collapse by the Lions, but there isn't a rookie quarterback out there who doesn't need help from his team in the beginning stages of his career.
Darnold got the help he needed. And he did exactly what he expected of himself.