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Sam Darnold hype brought back down to reality

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LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 16: Quarterback Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets warms up before a preseason game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on August 16, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 16: Quarterback Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets warms up before a preseason game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on August 16, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
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Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold experienced some growing pains in the New York Jets first loss of the preseason against the Washington Redskins. The hype train is now back down to reality.

Just like many other New York Jets fans, after seeing rookie quarterback Sam Darnold in preseason action just about a week ago, the hype train was real. Visions started happening where Darnold would not only be ready to start the regular season for the Jets but could potentially the savior of the franchise as early as this upcoming season.

Hold the breaks, ladies and gentlemen. Darnold is first and foremost a rookie and while he has shown some flashes of being the real deal, he will inevitably experience some growing pains as he transitions into the pros. Yes, Darnold threw his first interception of the year in a Week 2 preseason loss to the Washington Redskins and will likely study it several times in the film room.

Darnold was playing behind a makeshift offensive line due to injuries to starters in the positional group but regardless, took a slight step back. Had Darnold played lights out football, he potentially could have been the frontrunner in the ongoing starting quarterback competition but as of right now, he’s still No. 3 on the depth chart and rightfully so.

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Teddy Bridgewater stole the show last night and Josh McCown didn’t even play which goes to show that the original plan of head coach Todd Bowles likely is still the same. All signs point that McCown will likely start the season with Bridgewater as his backup and Darnold to learn from the veterans ahead of him on the depth chart from the sideline.

In the grand scheme of things, Darnold still has a lot of growth ahead of him before he earns a starting position. It’s good he earns a plethora of playing time in the preseason so he has the ability to learn and evolve from it during the regular season and team practices.

Unless Darnold absolutely tears it up in the final few weeks of the preseason, all he can do is learn, study, and prepare. That is in essence what is best for his future Jets career as by the looks of it, he played well against the Atlanta Falcons and Redskins but is far from ready to be a Week 1 starter in football games that actually count.

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