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The Sam Darnold Era Has Officially Begun

On Monday afternoon, New York Jets coach Todd Bowels made it official, announcing that rookie quarterback Sam Darnold will get the start in the season opener next Monday in Detroit.

Darnold, just 21 years old, will be the youngest quarterback to start a team's season opener in NFL history.

Sam Darnold vs the Redskins in week two of the preseason. — by Keith Allison
Sam Darnold vs the Redskins in week two of the preseason. — by Keith Allison

When training camp started the quarterback competition was between Darnold and veterans Josh McCown, who started 13 games for the Jets in 2017, and Teddy Bridgewater, who is trying to complete his comeback from major knee surgery in 2016, whom the Jets signed in March.

McCown's sole action of the preseason came in the opening drive of the first game against Atlanta. Bridgewater came in and finished the first quarter of the Atlanta game, leading the Jets to a touchdown before handing the reigns off to Darnold. Darnold impressed in his first pro action sparking the question if he was ready to start right away.

Darnold got the starting nod for the Jets second game in Washington against the Redskins. While Darnold didn't light up the scoreboard he did show a good command of the offense and the game itself. In this game Bridgewater relieved Darnold and played well once again but Darnold was still seen as the favorite for the opening day start.

Former Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater after a preseason game against the Redskins. — by Keith Allison
Former Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater after a preseason game against the Redskins. — by Keith Allison

The Jets used the same game plan for the Giant game in week three of the preseason as they did in week two. Start Darnold then go to Bridgewater. Darnold gave what might have been his most impressive performance of the preseason, giving him a stronghold on the starting quarterback competition.

The annual MetLife bowl was played on August 24. On August 29, The Jets traded Bridgewater to the New Orleans Saints for a third round draft pick. The Bridgewater trade ended all the speculation over who would start at quarterback week one for the Jets but Bowles wasn't ready to name a starter just yet.

Five days after the trade, Bowels announced the future starts now naming Darnold as his starting quarterback. The Jets invested a lot in Darnold, trading away three second round picks to move up to draft the quarterback. Now Darnold has the opportunity to prove he was worth it.

This article was originally published on @jschneider215