Sam Darnold admitted to 'seeing ghosts' during 'Monday Night Football' after being tormented by the Patriots defence

AP Photo/Bill KostrounSam Darnold was under attack from all sides on Monday night, and admitted that his recognition of defences needs to improve for the Jets to succeed.
  • The New England Patriots defence made life miserable for Sam Darnold on Monday night, forcing four interceptions and a fumble out of the young New York Jets quarterback.
  • While mic’d up on the sideline, Darnold said he was “seeing ghosts” on the field while the Patriots pressured him from all sides.
  • After the game, Darnold owned up to his performance, saying that he had to improve his reads and field vision if the Jets were to succeed.
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Sam Darnold had a brutal Monday night.

With the New York Jets coming off a big win at home against the Dallas Cowboys, the visiting New England Patriots made life hell for the second-year quarterback, refusing to let Darnold get comfortable and forcing turnover after turnover out of the New York offence.

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The Patriots rattled Darnold with a gutsy gameplan, relying on Cover 0 defence and daring the Jets to beat them over the top. Then, when the Patriots were already in Darnold’s head, Belichick would call for another look, showing blitz only to drop back into coverage, producing an easy red-zone interception.

Former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky broke down the Patriots strategy brilliantly for ESPN.

Making matters worse for Darnold was the fact that he was mic’d up for the game. After one turnover, Darnold admitted to “seeing ghosts” while attempting to read and react to the Patriots defence.

It’s not the type of thing teams like to hear from their starting quarterback, and some fans on Twitter were quick to make jokes at Darnold’s expense.^tfw

But Darnold was ultimately speaking to the reality of the situation: he was shook, and couldn’t get a good read on what the Patriots were throwing at him all night. The result was rushed decisions, throws from odd positions, and four interceptions and a fumble.

After the game, Darnold owned up to his performance. Asked about his “seeing ghosts” comments, Darnold said he was just trying to be honest with his coaching staff.

“When I talk to the coaches, I just gotta be straight up,” Darnold said. “For me, I just gotta see the field a lot better. That’s what that means. It was a rough night out there, and obviously I have got to be better and learn from the mistakes, but we will get better.”

After his initial roasting, fans on Twitter gave Darnold credit for owning his performance and acknowledging where he fell short.

While the Jets would obviously prefer Darnold not be so flustered by the Patriots defence, his honesty about the situation should serve him well moving forward. And if it’s any consolation, Darnold is far from the first quarterback to struggle with the Patriots so far this season.

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