And the Jets turned their night of high hopes and great expectations into honest-to-goodness positive results, sprinting to a 48-17 triumph over the Detroit Lions before a "Monday Night Football" television audience.
Or so it all seemed. The best storylines are written after the game.
"I knew at a very young age the strategic part of the game was something that I just loved", Patricia said when he was hired in February.
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 30: Head coach Matt Patricia of the Detroit Lions looks on while playing the Cleveland Browns during a preseason game at Ford Field on August 30, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. And that means overture, curtains, lights for the beginning of the Jets' new season at Detroit tonight (7:10 p.m. ET kickoff) and the beginning of Sam Darnold's Jets and National Football League career.
When the Lions hired general manager Bob Quinn two-plus years ago, the former Patriots executive chose to keep Caldwell in 2016 and gave him a contract extension the next year.
Rocking a black Lions hoody, which he had up over his head like always, Em walked out to midfield as an honorary captain with some of the Lions players. The biggest concerns are at tight end and the line tasked with protecting Darnold. That led to Isaiah Crowell's 6-yard touchdown run.
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This year's spectacle - tickets start at just over $100 and go up to more than $800 per seat - also has a strong economic theme. Bush's administration called off the search, claiming the safety of American participants was not guaranteed.
Patricia was asked if he saw any bright spots. "We had a couple good plays". Going back to last year's Super Bowl, his defenses have now surrendered 89 points in his last two games.
QB comparison: Matthew Stafford is easily one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league, and probably in the top half dozen. But Jets head coach Todd Bowles late last week didn't sound unduly shaken in his 21-year-old, No. 3 overall draft pick's chances against the Lions.
Darnold is going to have plenty of great plays for the New York Jets, and plenty of mistakes too.
"I'll take this one", Stafford said. "It's a team game, and it starts with me". "At the same time, I'm confident in myself that I can go out there every day and do that".
But the game could not have gotten off to a worse start for Darnold. Stafford went 27 of 46 for 286 yards, but it was his first four-interception game since 2013.
And after the Jets had dominated the remaining 14:40 of the first half to hold a 17-10 lead, it took 1:55 at the start of the second half for the Lions to score a touchdown to make it 17-17.
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North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Friday and urged residents to prepare for the storm's arrival. At this point, its exact landfall location is very hard to determine as Florence will eventually make a NW and then north turn.
There was nearly nothing for the Lions to feel good about. That might be a leg-up for Patricia on Monday, considering the Jets and Pats are division rivals.
Time lapse: The Jets scored 31 points in 12:20. "They run pretty true to whatever they get out of their formations and everybody knew it". They added a field goal for good measure.
The Jets defense had five total interceptions, one coming off Matt Cassel.
From the archives: It will be 50 years ago this week - September 15, 1968 - that the Lions opened the regular season at Dallas. The second was a highlight reel throw to Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson for a 41-yard score that put the Jets up 17-7. "Detroit's got more weapons than NY though". "Definitely something of a bright point for the team, for sure", Lee said, "but as a defense, it doesn't change what we have to do".
The next week in Game 2, the Lions beat the Bears, 42-0, at Tiger Stadium.
Lions: Visit the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
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In his article, Johnson said that the main problem with Brexit was "not that we have failed, but that we have not even tried".
"They're gonna have to play around Darnold".