Jets' Sam Darnold praises “obviously awesome” Patriots fans for “great atmosphere”


FOXBORO -- Sam Darnold didn't become the first rookie quarterback to beat Bill Belichick's New England Patriots in Foxboro, but the New York Jets signal caller should benefit from the learning experience he endured Sunday at Gillette Stadium. 

In his first road start against the Jets' arch rival, Darnold completed 16 of 28 passes for 167 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. He had one fumble, which was recovered by the Patriots and returned for a touchdown.

Darnold, following his team's 38-3 defeat, was complimentary of the Gillette Stadium environment and Patriots fans' role in creating that buzz. 

"It was a great atmosphere, " Darnold said. "Patriots fans are obviously awesome. They bring the juice, and when we're on offense, it's tough to hear and all that, tough to communicate. But at the same time, at the beginning of the game and in the first half and even early on in the second half, it was a fun atmosphere. Really fun to play in, and I'm looking forward to coming back here next year."

The loss dropped the Jets to 4-12, good enough for last place in the AFC East and a high pick in April's 2019 NFL Draft. The Jets won't take part in the AFC playoffs for the eighth consecutive season.

"Yeah, it's embarrassing," Darnold said. "It's embarrassing to go out here and lose 38-3. I'm really proud of the way we fought, the way we competed. It just wasn't enough."

READ MORE: Updated AFC playoff picture

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