After winning the starting job over Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater this summer, the No. 3 overall pick made his debut Monday night against the Lions. The Jets lost the coin toss, but the Lions deferred, giving Darnold a chance to shake off the nerves by getting under center immediately.
Consider the nerves shaken off. On the very first snap from scrimmage, Darnold faked a handoff, rolled out to his right, and then decided to loft a floater to the other side of the field where Lions defensive back Quandre Diggs was waiting. Diggs picked off the pass and returned it for a touchdown, giving the Lions a very early 7-0 lead and providing Darnold with the worst possible start to his career.