So how is Sam Darnold faring against the best?
So far Jacksonville and Minnesota respectively have put him through his toughest challenges. Against a reputable Jaguars defense during Week Four, Darnold completes 17/34 (50%) for 167 yards, with one touchdown, and no INTs. The Jets most recent loss against Minnesota proves to be Darnold's worst performance, to date. He completes 17/42 (40%) for 206-yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions. The Jets lose both games by a combined 69-29 score. For his part, Darnold is a combined 34/76 (44%) for 373 yards, two touchdowns, and three INTs.
In fairness to Darnold, his favorite receiver Quincy Enunwa - whom leads the team in targets - did not play against Minnesota, and will remain out in the weeks to come with an injured ankle. Terrelle Pryor already out with an injury gets cut, while several dropped passes by receivers who did play further compound the matter. Hell, Robby Anderson even throws a football in the direction of an official which earns him an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Otherwise, three Viking sacks punctuate an overall bad day.
In his five other starts (against the Lions, Dolphins, Browns, Broncos, and Colts), Sam Darnold is 99/145 (68%) for 1,179 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven INTs. The Jets go 3-2 in those games, outscoring their opponents by a 147-108 margin.
There's no denying the Jets selected a fine quarterback. And at the present time, he could really use some help at receiver. However, the team to a large extent is in rebuild mode, are they not? That begs the question: to what extent does Mike Maccagnan seek out a receiver to help bail out his franchise quarterback?
Caution: if the Jets have a plan, I suggest they stick with it.
In the meantime, Darnold should give Phil Simms a call for advice on how to throw spirals in blustery Northeast weather conditions.