Darnold completed 16-of-21 passes, and became the first quarterback to win his first start by 31 or more points since Tom Brady did it in 2001. The former USC quarterback also helped the Jets set a franchise record for points on the road, as they beat out the 47 they scored against the Boston Patriots in 1967.
The rookie also out-played Matthew Stafford, who had four interceptions, just one shy of his career-high of five. Backup Matt Cassel came in late and threw one as well, as the Jets admitted after the game that they knew Stafford's signals and knew what play was coming. The Lions QB threw for 286 yards and a touchdown to Golden Tate early in the second half. Quandre Diggs returned Darnold's first pass 37 yards for a score to give the Lions the lead just 20 seconds in to the game. Although, it was all downhill from there.
Meanwhile, out west, Jon Gruden's return to the Oakland Raiders sidelines did not go as planned, as they fell to the Los Angeles Rams at home, 33-13, on Monday night. Jarred Goff threw for two touchdown passes, while Marcus Peters returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown late to seal the victory. The loss for Gruden and the Raiders puts new head coaches at 0-7 through one week of the NFL season.
Goff did not turn the ball over and threw for 233 yards, while Todd Gurley ran for 108 yards as Sean McVay's Rams showed as much consistency on offense as they did last season, when they made the playoffs in McVay's first season. The Raiders seemed to give that offense some fits in the first half, but they seemed to get their timing right after halftime. It only makes sense, as the likes of Goff and Gurley did not play at all in the preseason. They proved that they were okay by outscoring the Raiders, 23-0, in the second half.
Gruden was coaching his first game with the Raiders since the end of the 2001 season, as he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the next year. He had a head-turning postgame press conference when he said that his team needs a pass rush. That's an interesting comment, as his team recently traded away linebacker Khalil Mack, who had a big game for the Chicago Bears on Sunday night.
Gruden had been announcing for ESPN over the past nine years, including hosting "Gruden's QB Camp" where he did feature his current quarterback, Derek Carr. The third-highest paid player at his position threw for 303 yards and three interceptions in the loss. The Raiders will look for their first win back under Gruden next week against the Denver Broncos. The Rams will return home for their home opener against the Arizona Cardinals.