Darnold, the youngest quarterback starter since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, overcame a pick-6 (an interception returned for a touchdown) on his first pass attempt when he elected to roll to his right and throw across the field on his first snap.
An anemic first quarter of offense set the tone.
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was intercepted four times.
"There's not a lot to be happy about", Patricia said. But New York stuck with coach Todd Bowles while Detroit dumped Jim Caldwell, replacing him with the newest branch from the Bill Belichick Coaching Tree, Matt Patricia.
Monday's rout brought little reason for optimism. I mean, do I really need to have a reason?
There were boos from the crowd later in the quarter, though. On the second, he knew the Lions were trying to run a wrap route around the defense, wrapping one receiver behind him and hoping he'd run up to cover a second receiver in front of him, and thereby leave a wide open window in back of him.
The first touchdown pass of Darnold's career came with 1:51 left in the half on a 41-yard heave to Robby Anderson. His next pick came on a ball that he took out of mid-air, pretty much sealing the deal for the Jets. Jason Myers' kick split the uprights to give NY its first lead of the season.
Darnold's resiliency is why he was starting this first game, the only one of the five QBs taken in the first round this year who earned that opportunity. "Definitely something of a bright point for the team, for sure", Lee said, "but as a defense, it doesn't change what we have to do". Enunwa turned upfield and dragged two Detroit defenders the last 4 yards into the end zone for a 21-yard score. The crowd cheered when Cassel went in again with 8:15 left in the fourth, but he threw an interception shortly thereafter. "Jets! Jets! Jets!" chant that rang through the emptying stadium. Turnovers. Too many of them. "That's where I always start", Patricia said. "There's not a lot of, 'Hey, good job!' There's a lot of, 'Hey, bad job, bleep, bleep, bleep'".
There was nearly nothing for the Lions to feel good about.