Jets QB Sam Darnold on team’s 3-6 start: ‘I just have to play smarter, play better’

Sam Darnold was candid with reporters Monday after one of the worst games of his short career. 

The Jets continued their losing skid with a 13-6 loss to the Dolphins in Week 9. Darnold had a quarterback rating of just 14.2 after throwing four interceptions and getting sacked four times in the game.

“For me, I’m just not playing to the best of my ability and, quite frankly, just playing stupid,” Darnold said on a conference call, via ESPN. “I thought I played stupid football (Sunday). I just have to be better. I know that, the coaches know that, everybody knows that.”

Darnold has registered a league-high 14 interceptions. He has thrown a pick on three of New York’s last four possessions, including one that was returned for a touchdown by Miami linebacker Jerome Baker.

“I just have to play smarter, play better,” he added. “I definitely feel like I forced some things. But at the same time, I feel like there were some throws (I didn’t make) where I was second-guessing myself and I could’ve pulled the trigger.

“At some moments in the game, I just get in my own head. I just have to stay true to my progressions and make sure (I have) the confidence I normally have. Just go out there and sling it.”

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The play caller out of USC was drafted third overall by the Jets, and after a promising start — a 48-7 win over the Lions in Week 1 — Darnold has slipped into a funk. In the Jets’ last three games, all losses, he has seven interceptions, only two passing touchdowns and a combined passer rating of 43.3.

New York will host the Bills in Week 10 action Sunday.

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