Sam Darnold's NFL debut started with a pick-six. The rest of it went smoothly.
The Jets rookie quarterback threw for 198 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-21 passing, Darron Lee had two of the Jets' five interceptions (including a pick-six) and Andre Roberts returned a punt for a touchdown as New York scored 31 unanswered points in a 48-17 win over the Detriot Lions 41-17 on Monday at Ford Field.
After Matthew Stafford's touchdown pass to Golden Tate tied the game at 17 in the third quarter, Darnold led a six-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 21-yard touchdown to Quincy Enunwa that made it 24-17.
On the ensuing possession, Stafford threw his third of four picks to Lee, who ran 36 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown to give the Jets a two-touchdown lead. New York forced a three-and-out and Roberts returned a punt 78 yards down the left sideline to make it 38-17 with 6:57 remaining in the third quarter.
After the Jets kicked a field goal, running back Isaiah Crowell, who had 10 carries for 102 yards in his Jets debut, broke off a 62-yard touchdown run that gave New York a 31-point lead.
Darnold became the third quarterback in NFL history to begin his career with a pick-six on his first pass attempt, joining Brett Favre and Jameis Winston, when his throw across the field intended for Bilal Powell was picked off by Quandre Diggs and returned 37 yards to give Detroit a 7-0 lead.
But Darnold rebounded, as the Jets scored on three of their final four possessions of the first half.
Crowell scored a 6-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7 with 4:20 remaining in the first quarter, and the Jets turned a Morris Claiborne interception into a 35-yard Jacob Myers field goal.
Darnold, the rookie out of USC whom New York selected third overall in the NFL draft, led a three-play, 49-yard drive capped by a 41-yard touchdown to Robby Anderson as the Jets led 17-10 at halftime.
The Jets' five interceptions are the most they had as a team in a game since 1999. Trumaine Johnson also picked off Stafford in the first half while Jamal Adams recorded the Jets' fifth takeaway of the night when he intercepted Matt Cassel in the fourth quarter.