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Dan Orlovsky waves the ‘Sam Darnold is a good QB’ white flag

Dan Orlovsky, Sam Darnold
Dan Orlovsky, Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Dan Orlovsky waves the white flag as it pertains to Sam Darnold

And thus ends one of the more fan-dividing moves in recent New York Jets memory.

After a three-interception performance against Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots in Week 9, very few Jets fans can claim that Joe Douglas made a mistake when he traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers.

Perhaps cementing this thought is Darnold’s most stubborn defender waving the white flag.

ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky announced to the world on Sunday that he just cannot do it anymore.

“Love Sam,” Orlovsky tweeted Sunday afternoon. “Have had his back in dark times-thought he would be much improved in Carolina—I was dead wrong—can’t anymore. Way, way, way too many mistakes.”

Credit Orlovsky for taking the “L” like a man. Most would run and hide from such a situation—especially when he jumped the gun on the matter.

After just Week 2, Orlovsky invited Jets fans to a digital duel with a premature tweet that did nobody any good— including Darnold himself.

“Really weird, I was told Sam Darnold sucked … ,” Orlovsky tweeted in the first half of the Panthers’ eventual 26-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints in Week 2.

Naturally, Jets fans are letting the former NFL quarterback have it. Also naturally, he shouldn’t be the only one who should face this buzzsaw.

Orlovsky was just the leader of a large and rabid pack that took on the “smartest person in the room” role. But the real problem this year is revealed when the timing is pondered.

Hey, there’s nothing wrong in thinking Darnold had a chance to resurrect his career elsewhere. Many a quarterback (even average quarterbacks, i.e. Jared Goff) have put up great statistical seasons in this pass-happy NFL.

The problem is that folks were too quick to crown the kid after just two or three games.

How anybody could come to such a radical conclusion after Darnold had faced the Jets, the Saints (without eight coaches due to COVID-19 protocols) and the Houston Texans is simply mind-boggling. Just as burying the kid wouldn’t help him turn it around, proclaiming him the next big thing—simply because he broke away from Adam Gase and the Jets—could be just as detrimental.

If you’re a pro-Darnold guy, why throw that extra pressure on him? Regardless, that level of competition, while also realizing it sometimes takes several weeks to get a new offense on tape (Darnold with Matt Rhule and Joe Brady), should have never allowed anybody to proclaim quarterback-pundit victory so soon.

In the end, this one shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Today’s sports digital media world consists of hot takes that leave little room for nuance. Everything is seemingly mutually exclusive, so the possibility that the Jets and Darnold were both unworthy of acclaim did not exist.

Or, at the very least, most in the mainstream media did not want to pretend two things can be true at the same time—for rabid emotions are much more available for clicks and engagement when that’s the case.

In spite of Dan Orlovsky’s white flag and Robby Anderson’s screaming session, it still isn’t over for Sam Darnold.

Sure, the idea that Joe Douglas made the wrong decision in trading him is most likely over, but the kid is still incredibly young.

Now, the only thing the New York Jets need to do is figure out their own quarterback situation. Was drafting Zach Wilson the right move?

Only time will tell.

At the very least, there’s no chance in the world any conclusion makes official sense at this early stage of the kid’s NFL career.

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