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Sam Darnold Officially Named Jets' Starting QB for Week 1 vs. Lions

Rob Goldberg

The New York Jets announced Monday that rookie quarterback Sam Darnold will officially be the team's starting quarterback for the Week 1 game against the Detroit Lions.

"We feel like he gives us a good chance to win," head coach Todd Bowles explained, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. "We're not starting him because he's a rookie and not ready. He gives us a good chance to win. ... He's earned the right to start."

The No. 3 overall draft pick in April was battling Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown for the starting spot, but Bridgewater was traded to the New Orleans Saints before the end of the preseason.

McCown started 13 games for the Jets last season but will begin the 2018 season as the team's No. 2 quarterback.

While Darnold was always expected to be the team's quarterback of the future, his performance in the preseason forced the coaching staff to play him. He appeared in three games, throwing 244 yards with two touchdowns and an interception with a 64.4 completion percentage.

Although his 83.9 quarterback rating wasn't quite as good as Bridgewater's 104.7 in the preseason, it was still good enough to show that he can handle playing in the NFL.

ESPN's Adam Schefter provided some interesting facts about the starter:

Considering the struggles from recent draft picks Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty and Geno Smith, it will certainly be exciting for Jets fans to see their rookie on the field in Week 1. However, expectations remain low outside the organization going into the year.

According to OddsShark, the Jets have 150-1 odds to win the Super Bowl this season, among the worst in the NFL.

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