Nothing in sports is more harrowing than a transaction that goes wrong. Sparky Lyle haunted the Red Sox for years after they traded him to the Yankees for Danny Cater (not to mention that other Yankees/Sox trade involving Ruth and a play called “No, No, Nanette” from years before).
For a while, it appeared that Daniel Murphy would hit 1.000 against the Mets in the year or two following his trade to the Nationals. Bill Belichick has spent the last 21 years as their personal Amityville Horror house, invading their every dream, daydream, and nightmare.
Yes. You know where this is going.
Sam Darnold will receive this.
This two-week start to the 2021 football season, in which the New Savior, Zach Wilson, has played exactly as you’d expect a raw, green rookie to play and the Old Savior, Darnold, has played… well, at a pretty damn high level, is going straight into the darkest region of every Jets fan’s soul. The Jets are 0-2 on the season. Carolina Panthers are undefeated.
Wilson has been going through some growing pains. Darnold has been spectacular. We all saw what he did against the Jets in Week 1 — 24-for-35, 279 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, and only one typical Sam blunder, a red-zone fumble on a botched handoff early in the game. You may recall his performance against the Saints in Week 2: 26-for-38, 305 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
“I’ve always had a lot of confidence,” Darnold said after the Panthers were done ransacking New Orleans, 26-7. “That’s never going to change. Just finding completions and continuing to move the ball down the field, it’s a good feeling.”
Said Carolina tight end Dan Arnold: “He’s a premier quarterback in my eyes.”
OK. At the very least, we can slam on the brakes here. Darnold’s two-game winning streak has come against the Jets — who, well, are the Jets — and the Saints, who were beset by injury and illness just a week after thrashing the Packers. Both games were played in the comfort of one’s own home. And Darnold has access to weapons he could only dream of as a Jet, including Christian McCaffrey.
It’s a situation that will act as a sort of shadow government for the Jets for the time being and for as long as Darnold is the Panthers’ QB1 — which will coincide with Wilson’s tenure as the Jets’ QB1 — and Darnold’s next game, Thursday at Houston, will be on national TV, ushering in a new wave of Jets jokes from Topeka to Topanga.
Of course, it is unjust to both quarterbacks, especially Wilson. But this is where we are at the moment. The Jets are based here.
After all, the Jets could have kept Darnold and used the No. 2 pick in the draft to either fill a different hole (which they have a lot of) or add multiple picks. It was a viable option, especially since Darnold had only been a highly touted No. 3 overall pick for three years. Darnold had his moments as a Jet, too.