Darnold and the Jets take a beating in loss to Jacksonville

Jets Jaguars Football
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, left, looks for a receiver as he is pressured by Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Taven Bryan, center, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Sam Darnold went from seeing ghosts to seeing teal.

Darnold was sacked a career-high eight times and threw three interceptions in Jacksonville’s 29-15 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.

He was picked off twice in the fourth quarter, including one that set up Gardner Minshew’s game-sealing score to DJ Chark with a little more than 4 minutes to play. Minshew completed 22 of 34 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns. He scrambled for another 32 yards.

Minshew connected with Keelan Cole and Chris Conley for first-quarter touchdowns for the Jaguars (4-4).

Darnold was 21 of 30 for 218 yards with two touchdown passes to Ryan Griffin, and the three turnovers.

The Jaguars pressured him early and often, hitting him on nearly every passing play and taking him down more than any other team had during his two-year NFL career.

It came six days after Darnold was caught on camera saying he was “seeing ghosts” in a 33-0 loss to New England. Darnold wore a microphone for ESPN’s broadcast of the Monday night game, and his comment went viral.

His words still resonated inside and around TIAA Bank Field.

A plane circled the stadium pulling a huge banner that read: “Gardner Minshew ain’t afraid of no ghost.” And Jacksonville’s mascot, Jaxson de Ville, ran onto the field shortly before kickoff wearing a white sheet over his head.

Fans also donned sheets and held ghostly signs.

The Jets (1-6) managed 208 yards, with 93 of those coming on their opening drive.

Jacksonville used two big plays to build an early lead: Leonard Fournette gained 66 yards on the second play of the game, setting up Cole’s touchdown, and Minshew’s 70-yard pass to Conley went for a score.

The injuries were added insults for the Jets. CB Trumaine Johnson left in the first half with an ankle ailment, and C Ryan Kalil left in the third quarter with a right knee injury.

The Jets will fly to the Sunshine State next Sunday to play AFC East Rival Miami. The winless Dolphins face the Pittsburgh Steelers tomorrow night on Monday Night Football.

Regardless of the Oct. 28 outcome, the Dolphins will enter their showdown with the Jets next week having won three straight and five of six in the series against them.

— Mark Long