Sam Darnold might be grabbing the headlines but the rest of the New York Jets offense stepped in to help the rookie in his NFL debut.
Strong play from the offensive line, good routes from the wide receivers and a very solid night from the running backs helped key the Jets offense in Monday night’s 48-17 win at the Detroit Lions. And while Darnold’s 16-for-21, 198 passing yards with two touchdowns and an interception might be the big takeaway from the Jets in Week 1, it wasn’t the only point of significance.
That the Jets had such a balanced and productive offense is surely encouraging, especially as Darnold will surely struggle at some points in this his rookie year.
The Jets, in particular, got big performances from Isaiah Crowell (10 carries, 102 yards and two rushing touchdowns) and Bilal Powell (12 carries, 60 yards) in their blowout win.
An offensive line that was a question mark heading into the season was, at least for one week, very solid.
They paved the way and opened holes for the ground game to get clicking.
“It always helps to have a running game as a quarterback regardless of who you are, with the offensive line blocking and the runners doing what they did I thought it took a lot of weight off of him,” Jets head coach Todd Bowles said on Tuesday.
The line conceded two sacks but only one rushing attempt involved lost yardage, a major point of pride for this unit.
The Jets were able to accumulate 146 rushing yards at the Lions, a healthy 4.7 yards per carry. This balanced and augmented the offense at times, especially after Darnold’s first pass of the game and his career was an interception.
The ability to run the ball as an offense was noticeable in the win and something that the Jets will likely look to duplicate this weekend when they host the Miami Dolphins.“I was pleased with them,” Bowles said.
“We ran the ball 36 times, that’s what you want as an offensive lineman, those guys got better and better as the game went on, so I was very happy with them.”