Darnold, who was mic’d up during his team’s 33-0 loss to the New England Patriots on “Monday Night Football,” admitted to “seeing ghosts” in what was the worst performance of his two-year NFL career. Darnold, a week after throwing for 338 yards and two touchdowns in New York’s upset victory over the Dallas Cowboys, went 11 of 32 for just 86 yards against the Patriots. He also threw four interceptions while coughing up a fumble.
Darnold and the Jets’ success last week against the Cowboys made them a popular upset pick entering Monday night’s game. But instead of challenging the Patriots, the defending champions flexed their muscles while winning their eighth consecutive game over their AFC East division foe.
While Sony Michel’s three touchdowns powered the Patriots’ offense, New England’s No. 1 ranked defense overwhelmed Darnold by applying consistent pressure that contributed to Darnold’s miscues. Darnold was specifically victimized by Stephon Gilmore, who recorded one of the Patriots’ four picks while strengthening his argument as the NFL’s top cornerback. Safeties Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Terrence Brooks also recorded interceptions of Darnold, who missed three games earlier this season after having mono.
There’s not much shame in losing to the Patriots. New England, undefeated entering Monday night’s game, was a double-digit favorite to defeat a Jets team that was 1-4 through five weeks. But the way the Jets lost, along with Darnold openly admitting to seeing “ghosts” on the field on Monday night, is not a good look for Gang Green and head coach Adam Gase, who is off to an inauspicious start in the Big Apple.