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Sam Darnold looks strong in bid to win Jets' QB job

NFL.com | Updated: 2018-08-28 00:00:23

It's clear the New York Jets are eyeing Sam Darnold as their Week 1 starting quarterback based on the amount of playing time he had against the cross-town rival Giants on Friday night.

The question is: Did Darnold do enough against the Giants to convince coach Todd Bowles he should be the team's starter?

Darnold put in a solid, steady performance over the nearly three full quarters he played in the Jets' 22-16 loss. His final line wasn't spectacular -- 8-of-16 passing for 86 yards and a touchdown.

He shined, however, in areas most rookies struggle in. He had no turnovers, held onto the ball, made smart decisions on passes and looked comfortable running the offense.

Darnold's solid execution of the fundamentals might not lead to a cornucopia of instant regular-season success, but it might be enough for him to nail down the starting QB job. After all, teams don't draft a QB at No. 3 overall without giving him an automatic tiebreaker in a too-close-to-call position battle.

"Anytime you go down the field and score against a good defense, that's a good thing," Jets coach Todd Bowles said. "For the most part, he did his job."

Darnold's 12-yard touchdown pass to Terrelle Pryor in the first half showed his decisiveness and ability to stand up in a collapsing pocket. A few three-and-outs showed he won't be some sort of instant offensive savior for the Jets.

Teddy Bridgewater entered the game late in the third quarter and went three-and-out on his first possession behind the starting O-line. He managed to complete 11 of 15 passes for 104 yards but failed to punch it into the end zone at the end of a late-game drive. Still, it was another strong showing for a quarterback that continues to underline his starting credentials. We could see plenty of playing time for Bridgewater in the final preseason game next week.

"Teddy did a good job, as well," Bowles said. "[He] kept us in the ballgame until the end, so I was pleased with him as well."

As for the team, it remains to be seen how far Friday's game goes in deciding the Jets' QB question. Bowles is in no rush to make a decision.

"We got two weeks to make the decision, so when we come to it, we'll come to it," Bowles said.

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