Sam Darnold’s NFL Debut

Southern+California+quarterback+Sam+Darnold+%2814%29+in+action+during+the+first+half+of+an+NCAA+college+football+game+against+Utah+in+Los+Angeles%2C+Saturday%2C+Oct.+14%2C+2017.+%28AP+Photo%2FKelvin+Kuo%29
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Sam Darnold’s NFL Debut

Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold (14) in action during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Utah in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold (14) in action during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Utah in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

AP

Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold (14) in action during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Utah in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

AP

AP

Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold (14) in action during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Utah in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

Sierra Flessel, Staff Writer

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Sam Darnold is a fresh face to the NFL stage but is well known amongst USC football fans. Twenty-one-year-old, fresh out of Capistrano Beach, California, Darnold was a shining star during his two years as the quarterback at the University of Southern California. Leading his team to a PAC-12 Championship in 2018 and shattering records left by those before him, fans around the league were interested to see where he would get drafted if he chose to forego his remaining college eligibility.

On January 3, 2018, Darnold announced via social media that he would enter the NFL draft, ending his career at USC. On April 26th, during the first day of the NFL draft, Darnold was selected in the first round, as the third pick, by the New York Jets. Jets fans were elated, as they felt a surge of hope for the team’s future, despite previous quarterbacks’ issues haunting their past. But skeptics had doubts; despite his overwhelming success at USC, the NFL is a whole other world.

After winning the first preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons, Darnold and the Jets would go on to be 1-3. The three games they lost were all very close, and Darnold showed that he was capable of holding his own by completing twenty-nine of his forty-five pass attempts.

Darnold’s first official NFL start was on September 10, 2018, against the Detroit Lions, in the highly anticipated first Monday Night Football game of the season. Darnold came to play, proving to the critics, fans, and himself that he had the skills to compete alongside his fellow quarterbacks and other professional players. Darnold went 16-21, 192 yards to lead the Jets to a 48-17 victory over the Lions.

Despite Darnold’s convincing first game, his team struggled against the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns, throwing four interceptions between the two games. Sports analysts are sure that this is a natural secession. Because of the Jet’s jam-packed schedule, the first three games were scheduled within eleven days, which is almost an insurmountable amount of playing time for any NFL team. Based off of the statistics of the preseason and first regular season game, fans are not worried in the slightest about Darnold’s future in the NFL.

Fans and spectators around the league are all rooting for Darnold, a new face in the NFL striving to leave his mark alongside the legends of the sport. It is almost certain that Darnold will go down in history as one of the best rookies to enter the league and will continue to play in a way that captures the attention of fans for years to come.

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About the Writer
Sierra Flessel, Staff Writer

Sierra Flessel (11) is a junior and it’s her first year in the Journalism family. When she’s not stressing over school and trying to maintain somewhat...

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Sam Darnold’s NFL Debut