Bell on Darnold: It's different having your guy back

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Surprise! The New York Jets offense actually functions like a professional product when it's led by a first-round quarterback, not a street free agent.

Sam Darnold's return from mononucleosis immediately reminded the world of his vast potential and made coach Adam Gase's offense not look so painful to behold.

"I mean, sh--!," Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams said, via the New York Daily News. "He did a damn good job! Obviously, we have a lot of faith in Sam."

Darnold completed 23 of 32 passes for 338 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and a 113.8 passer rating in the 24-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys. It marked Darnold's third career game with 300-plus passing yards, and the Jets' first win in such tilts.

"We knew that with Sam back, he was going to move the ball," Adams said. "Sam wasn't drafted in the top five for no reason. He's a hell of a quarterback, a hell of a leader and hell of a competitor."

The difference between the Jets' offense with Darnold and Luke Falk under center was stark. Darnold's deft pocket mobility and ability to make accurate throws off awkward platforms allows the offense to function behind a less than ideal offensive line. Plays that went for easy sacks while Darnold was out with mono turned into first downs Sunday.

"It's a lot different having your guy in there," said Le'Veon Bell, who rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown. "He's the leader of the offense.... When you miss that for a few weeks, it's tough.... I said he wasn't rusty in practice. I watched him. He's a special player."

Darnold generated his 19th and 20th career passing TD in his 15th career start, the second-most pass TDs in a QB's first 15 career games in Jets history behind only Hall of Famer Joe Namath (23), per NFL Research.

With Darnold back, the Jets' offense was finally able to stretch the field vertically, putting pressure on the defense. Robby Anderson's 92-yard TD catch underscored the difference Darnold makes.

"It was amazing to have my brother back out there," Anderson said. "It makes a big difference."

The Jets still sit at 1-4, but they've got the first win of the Gase era out of the way. With Darnold back, they can start to build for the future with the stud signal-caller.

"We were starving for a win," Darnold said. "To come out here and do it in the fashion that we did (with) the defense getting a huge stop on the two-point conversion. I wouldn't want it any other way."

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