EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – Sam Darnold sparkled in his NFL debut, Teddy Bridgewater looked sharp and healthy, and the New York Jets earned the franchise’s first preseason home shutout by beating the sluggish Atlanta Falcons 17-0 on Friday night.
Darnold, the No. 3 overall draft pick in April, was the Jets’ third quarterback of the game, following Josh McCown and Bridgewater. The former USC star was greeted by loud cheers and a standing ovation as he jogged onto the field at MetLife Stadium with 8:41 to go in the first half.
He got the crowd on its feet again just before halftime, throwing a 14-yard touchdown pass to Charles Johnson that gave New York a 17-0 lead.
The 21-year-old Darnold showed the poise of a veteran on the drive while completing six straight passes to get to the Falcons 3.
On third-and-14, Darnold again threw to Johnson while rolling to his right and zipping in a pass for the score.
Darnold, who finished 13 of 18 for 96 yards.
Raiders 16, Lions 10
In Oakland, Jon Gruden was a winner in his return to the sideline as a coach when the Raiders got a touchdown pass from Connor Cook in a victory over Detroit.
Gruden was welcomed back warmly to the Coliseum for his first game as Raiders coach since beating the Jets in a playoff game Jan. 12, 2001. Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay after that season and has spent the past nine years as an ESPN analyst.
Raiders owner Mark Davis lured Gruden back to the sideline with a 10-year contract worth a reported $100 million following a disappointing six-win season under Jack Del Rio.