Sam Darnold says Jets offense must execute better

Kristian Dyer

No wonder Sam Darnold is banged up.  

This year, the New York Jets quarterbacks are among the most hit at their position in the NFL, something that must change if this team is going to start moving the ball and scoring some points. Darnold is currently wearing a brace in practice for an injury suffered last Sunday in a game where he was sacked eight times. 

The Jets have allowed 56 quarterback hits this year, tied for fourth-most in the league. The 34 sacks, tied for most in the NFL, is an even more worrisome number. The team simply has done a poor job of protecting whoever is under center, which for the last three weeks has been Darnold. 

Darnold was sacked the aforementioned eight times in Sunday’s 29-15 loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars. The correlation is clear between the number of hits and poor throws made by Darnold and the immense amount of pressure the offensive line is conceding. 

“We need to execute,” Darnold said on Thursday.  

“We need to take what we do in practice and I say it every week, we need to do what we do in practice and make sure that it translates to the game and if we do that, we'll be just fine.” 

The pressure being allowed is a major reason why Darnold has seven interceptions in the past two games (against two passing touchdowns). But poor reads and mechanics are another issue that is factoring into the poor showing from the offense. 

Darnold has developed a case of happy feet in the pocket as he senses (or believes he is sensing) pressure from the edge. It is the byproduct of poor protection but also a quarterback lacking confidence and overreacting in the pocket. 

Being able to read defenses and then adjust his progressions is something that Darnold must improve on if the Jets are going to emerge with a win this weekend at the Miami Dolphins. 

“Yeah, need to be a lot better there. Again, just communicating with the guys, getting set and we need to start rolling,” Darnold said. “We need to start being faster at the line of scrimmage and the tempo needs to be a lot better for sure.” 

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