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NY Jets: Sam Darnold might have won the battle, but not the war

Leigh Oleszczak
NY Jets
NY Jets / Grant Halverson/Getty Images
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The NY Jets squared off against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday and the biggest storyline in the game surrounded the fact that Sam Darnold's first game with the Panthers was against his old team, the Jets.

Darnold, a former No. 3 overall pick by the Jets in 2018, was traded to Carolina this offseason, as it became apparent that New York wanted to take Zach Wilson with the second overall pick. Wilson became a Jet and faced the former New York starter in his first-ever NFL start.

Let's make this perfectly clear — Darnold won this game fair and square. He had all of the motivation in the world to go out there and wipe the floor with his old team but despite winning, it's not like he set the world on fire with his performance.

Darnold finished the game going 24-of-35 for 279 yards and a touchdown while getting sacked once. His one touchdown went to former Jets receiver Robby Anderson, who pretended to be a Jet after catching his first pass of the season.

Salt in the wounds there, Robby.

Sam Darnold won this round, but we'll have to wait to see who officially comes out on top.

The Jets traded Darnold for a reason and that's because he wasn't getting the job done. They had an opportunity to start over at the most important position in the game and they took it.

Wilson might not have won the game, throwing for 258 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception, but there's hope that he can be the guy in the Big Apple. Darnold did well against his old team but to be fair, it was only one game.

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We probably won't know who the winner in this situation is for a few more years and while Darnold took an early lead, that doesn't mean he'll still be leading down the road.

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