JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Sam Darnold went from seeing ghosts to seeing teal.
Darnold was sacked a career-high eight times and threw three interceptions in Jacksonville’s 29-15 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.
He was picked off twice in the fourth quarter, including one that set up Gardner Minshew’s game-sealing score to DJ Chark with a little more than 4 minutes to play. Minshew completed 22 of 34 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns. He scrambled for another 32 yards.
Minshew connected with Keelan Cole and Chris Conley for first-quarter touchdowns for the Jaguars (4-4).
Darnold was 21 of 30 for 218 yards with two touchdown passes to Ryan Griffin, and the three turnovers.
The Jaguars pressured him early and often, hitting him on nearly every passing play and taking him down more than any other team had during his two-year NFL career.
It came six days after Darnold was caught on camera saying he was “seeing ghosts” in a 33-0 loss to New England. Darnold wore a microphone for ESPN’s broadcast of the Monday night game, and his comment went viral.
His words still resonated inside and around TIAA Bank Field.
A plane circled the stadium pulling a huge banner that read: “Gardner Minshew ain’t afraid of no ghost.” And Jacksonville’s mascot, Jaxson de Ville, ran onto the field shortly before kickoff wearing a white sheet over his head.
Fans also donned sheets and held ghostly signs.
The Jets (1-6) managed 208 yards, with 93 of those coming on their opening drive.
Jacksonville used two big plays to build an early lead: Leonard Fournette gained 66 yards on the second play of the game, setting up Cole’s touchdown, and Minshew’s 70-yard pass to Conley went for a score.
Jacksonville continued to struggle in the red zone.
The Jags scored two touchdowns on four possessions inside the 20-yard line and are now 3 for 12 in the red zone over the last three games. Minshew’s TD pass to Chark came on third down and with the quarterback nearing the sideline.
Jets: CB Trumaine Johnson left in the first half with an ankle injury. … C Ryan Kalil left in the third quarter with a right knee injury.
Jaguars: WR Dede Westbrook was ruled out at halftime with a neck/shoulder injury. He was questionable to play with a shoulder injury and re-injured in on a punt return. … Marqise Lee left in the second with a left shoulder injury. Cornerback D.J. Hayden left in the fourth quarter with a left shoulder injury and was ruled out. Safety Ronnie Harrison left late in the fourth with a neck injury.
Jets: Return to the Sunshine State to play AFC East rival Miami next Sunday. The Dolphins have won three straight and five of six in the series.
Jaguars: Travel to London for a “home” game against AFC South rival Houston, which beat Jacksonville 13-12 in Week 2. It’s the Jags’ seventh consecutive year playing at Wembley Stadium.