A week after returning from mononucleosis and leading the New York Jets to a huge upset win over the Dallas Cowboys, Sam Darnold had one of the worst games in recent memory on Monday Night Football against the New England Patriots. The way last night’s game unfolded has drawn comparisons to Mark Sanchez’s infamous Thanksgiving night “Buttfumble” loss to the Pats in 2012.
Darnold didn’t have a single play as memorable as that Sanchez fumble. His four interceptions and safety weren’t good, but probably won’t be replayed for years to come.
It was something that he said on the sideline, caught and replayed by ESPN’s mics, that stands out. After Darnold’s second interception, an errant throw around the Patriots’ goal line intercepted by Duron Harmon, Darnold admitted he was “seeing ghosts” on the field.
It’s about the last thing you want your franchise quarterback saying on national television.
The quote was mocked by opposing fans, and even drew some legitimate shock from Patriots players after the game. This afternoon, New York Jets head coach Adam Gase spoke about the Darnold situation today, and was not happy that ESPN ran the comments.
Adam Gase said he was not happy that ESPN decided to air Darnold's "I'm seeing ghosts" comment. "It bothered me. It bothered the organization." Said team will think hard about mic'ing up players in the future.
— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) October 22, 2019
Gase on ESPN mic’d up deal: "I don’t know how we can allow our franchise quarterback to be put out there like that.” Says they will reevaluate their cooperation with network. #nyj
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) October 22, 2019
It was definitely an embarrassing moment, but it did shed light on how rattled Darnold was by the Patriots’ elite defense, and wound up giving more insight into the game than the majority of things that mic’d up players say during a game.
Sam Darnold completed just 11-of-32 passes for 86 yards and four interceptions during the game. He also intentionally took a safety on the play, rather than allow the Patriots to record a defensive touchdown in the Jets’ end zone.
Ultimately, that kind of performance by the second year quarterback is always going to be the bigger concern, even if it wasn’t the splashiest moment from Darnold’s poor outing.