Sam Darnold sparkled in his NFL debut, Teddy Bridgewater looked sharp and healthy, and the New York Jets earned the franchise's first preseason home shutout by beating the sluggish Atlanta Falcons 17-0 on Friday night.
Darnold, the No. 3 overall draft pick in April, was the Jets' third quarterback of the game, following Josh McCown and Bridgewater. The former USC star was greeted by loud cheers and a standing ovation as he jogged onto the field at MetLife Stadium with 8:41 in the first half.
Darnold's first series ended in a punt and his non-throwing left hand was checked out by trainers on the sideline after it was stepped on — but he was fine and wore a glove in the second half.
He got the crowd on its feet again just before halftime, throwing a 14-yard touchdown pass to Charles Johnson that gave New York a 17-0 lead.
The 21-year-old Darnold showed the poise of a veteran on the drive while completing six straight passes to get to the Falcons 3. He would've had a seventh consecutive completion, but his throw into the end zone was dropped by Johnson. Darnold went right back to Johnson on the next play, and the receiver caught a 3-yard pass for a TD — but was called for offensive pass interference. On third-and-14, Darnold again threw to Johnson while rolling to his right and zipping in a pass to his receiver for the score.
Darnold, who finished 13 of 18 for 96 yards, missed the first three days of training camp before his representatives and the Jets agreed on details of his fully guaranteed four-year, $30.25 million deal that included a $20 million signing bonus. He quickly made up for the missed time, and is being given every opportunity to win the starting job.
RAIDERS 16, LIONS 10
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Coach Jon Gruden was a winner in his return to the sideline for Oakland when the Raiders got a touchdown pass from Connor Cook.
in a 16-10 victory over the Detroit Lions on Friday night.
Gruden was welcomed back warmly to the Coliseum for his first game here as Raiders coach since beating the Jets in a playoff game Jan. 12, 2001. Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay after that season and has spent the past nine years as an ESPN analyst.
Raiders owner Mark Davis lured Gruden back to the sideline with a 10-year contract worth a reported $100 million following a disappointing six-win season under Jack Del Rio.
The Gruden era appeared to get off to a rousing start when Marshawn Lynch ran 60 yards for a TD on the third snap, but the score was called back on a holding penalty by rookie tackle Kolton Miller.
Oakland settled for a punt on the only drive with starting quarterback Derek Carr, but scored three times in five drives with Cook at the helm. Cook threw a 7-yard TD pass to Ryan Switzer in the second quarter and led Oakland to a pair of field goals by rookie Eddy Pineiro. Cook finished 11 for 19 for 141 yards.
The Lions also welcomed a new coach in Matt Patricia, who opted to rest star quarterback Matthew Stafford. Matt Cassel got the start and went 5 for 10 for 46 yards, leading Detroit to one score on three drives, with Ameer Abdullah capping it with a 1-yard TD run .
Lynch once again sat during the national anthem. Lynch also sat for the anthem all of last season but never gave a reason for his decision. No other players on either team demonstrated during the anthem, with the Lions all standing together with locked arms.