The New York Jets took on the New England Patriots last night and the outcome wasn’t what most people thought. Before the game, there was a good chance that the Jets would rally and pull off a surprise victory, thanks to the return of quarterback Sam Darnold, but things didn’t quite work out that way.
As the Pats handed the team a massive 33-0 defeat, Darnold was apparently “seeing ghosts,” and the fact that the whole world found out about it didn’t make the Jets’ front office very happy.
Through an agreement between the NFL and teams in the league, certain players and coaches wear microphones during the games. It was a move that was designed to bring fans closer to the field and, when the practice started, many spoke out against it, arguing that it was going to prove detrimental sooner or later. That prediction came true last night when Darnold was overheard on a mike saying that he saw ghosts. For some reason, the comment made it to the commentary and the reels and this has Jets staff fuming.
“It bothers me, it bothers the organization,” Jets head coach Adam Gase said Tuesday.
He admitted that he knows that it’s “part of the deal,” but added, “Obviously, you never anticipate something like that happening. The fact that it did, it gives us pause to really cooperate anymore because I don’t know how we can allow our franchise quarterback to be put out there like that.”
NFL Films has the final say in what audio clips are used on the air. The organization is expected to keep a modicum of decency with its choices, but that completely flew out the window last night. No team ever expects comments to be aired that could put the players or the teams in a bad light – seeing ghosts would certainly qualify.
A MetLife Stadium representative apparently approved the release of the comment for TV, and the NFL and ESPN are now keeping silent on the subject. They’re the only ones, though, as several players and other league members are more than happy to speak their minds.
Le’Veon Bell, a running back for the Jets, let his view fly on Twitter, stating, “The NFL screwed Sammy over…there’s not one player in the NFL who’s cool with having every sideline convo broadcasted to millions…there’s a reason we’ve never heard other QB’s frustrated on the sideline like that before…that’s crazy, @NFL did Sam dirty as hell.”
Darnold was expected to be ready for the big game as he made a return to play, but he was caught off-guard by the Pats defense. He racked up five turnovers, including an interception on his very first pass back on the turf. By the end of the night, he had only completed 11 passes out of 32 attempts, completing for 86 yards and earning him a franchise-low passer rating of just 3.6.
The only comment that has surfaced about a response from NFL Films came from someone “in the know” who said that NFL Films brass is not happy the MetLife representative allowed the clip to be broadcast. Gase is apparently not ready to let the issue fade into the distance and says, “We’ll be looking into that pretty hard. That’s one of those things that I was really disappointed to hear about after the game. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that, where somebody that was mic’d up was basically … a comment like that was allowed to air.”
The NFL seems to have several wrinkles that it needs to iron out this year. Referees are not stepping up their game and, now, microphones are being used against the teams, not to help the fans. It’s going to be a long season.