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JETS 17, FALCONS 0

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- 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.

At a glance

THURSDAY’S GAMES

New Orleans 24, Jacksonville 20

Pittsburgh 31, Philadelphia 14

Carolina 28, Buffalo 23

Cleveland 20, NY Giants 10

Tampa Bay 26, Miami 24

Cincinnati 30, Chicago 27

New England 26, Washington 17

Baltimore 33, LA Rams 7

Green Bay 31, Tennessee 17

Houston 17, Kansas City 10

Indianapolis 19, Seattle 17

San Francisco 24, Dallas 21

FRIDAY’S GAMES

NY Jets 17, Atlanta 0 Detroit at Oakland, (n)

TODAY’S GAMES All times Central

Minnesota at Denver, 8 p.m.

LA Chargers at Arizona, 9 p.m.

Darnold's first series ended in a punt and his non-throwing left hand was checked out by trainers on the sideline after it was stepped on. But he was fine and wore a glove in the second 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.

Darnold, 21, showed the poise of a veteran on the drive while completing six consecutive passes to get to the Falcons 3. He would've had a seventh consecutive completion, but his throw into the end zone was dropped by Johnson. Darnold went right back to Johnson on the next play, and the receiver caught a 3-yard pass for a TD -- but was called for offensive pass interference.

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, missed the first three days of training camp before his representatives and the Jets agreed on a fully guaranteed four-year, $30.25 million deal that included a $20 million signing bonus. He quickly made up for the missed time, and is being given every opportunity to win the starting job.

McCown is the incumbent and started the game, but played just one series -- as he did last summer when New York wanted extended looks at Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. The 39-year-old veteran completed his only throw, a 4-yard toss to Neal Sterling.

Bridgewater came out with the starting offense for the Jets' second possession and led New York down the field on a scoring drive, capped by Isaiah Crowell's 16-yard catch-and-run to the end zone.

Crowell, in his first game with the Jets after four seasons in Cleveland, was evaluated for a head injury after taking a few hard hits on the play. He didn't return.

Bridgewater, who suffered a serious knee injury in practice while with Minnesota nearly two years ago, converted a third-and-11 with an 8-yard pass to Robby Anderson -- while also taking a hard hit from Takk McKinley and bouncing back up. On fourth-and-3 from the Falcons 40, Bridgewater connected with Jermaine Kearse for a 6-yard gain and a first down to keep the drive alive.

Playing with the backup offensive line on his second series, Bridgewater led New York on another scoring drive capped by Taylor Bertolet's 45-yard field goal.

Bridgewater finished 7 of 8 for 85 yards and the TD.

Matt Ryan played the first series for the Falcons, and completed his only attempt to rookie Calvin Ridley for a 2-yard loss.

He was replaced by veteran Matt Schaub, who went 9 of 9 for 54 yards while playing the rest of the first half.

Atlanta got its initial first down of the game with 10 seconds left in the first half on Schaub's 10-yard pass to Eric Saubert. The Falcons finished with 11 first downs. New York, which had 12 in the first half, ended up with 15.

THURSDAY'S LATE GAMES

49ERS 24, COWBOYS 21

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Dak Prescott made the most of his brief appearance in the preseason opener for the Cowboys by throwing a 30-yard touchdown pass to rookie Michael Gallup before San Francisco rallied with two late touchdowns to beat Dallas.

Nick Mullens threw a 7-yard TD pass to Richie James Jr. with 18 seconds left to cap the comeback. Jeremy McNichols scored on a 1-yard run with 4:24 to go for the 49ers.

San Francisco's Jimmy Garoppolo didn't fare as well as Prescott in his first game action since signing a $137.5 million, five-year contract this offseason. Garoppolo completed 3 of 6 passes on his one drive.

COLTS 19, SEAHAWKS 17

SEATTLE -- Andrew Luck returned to game action for the first time since the final week of the 2016 season, leading Indianapolis on a pair of field-goal drives in just over a quarter in its victory over Seattle.

Luck completed 6 of 9 passes for 64 yards, most of that coming on the opening drive when he hit 5 of 7. Luck completed passes to five receivers and threw from a clean pocket on most of his dropbacks, even with starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo not playing.

Russell Wilson played one series for Seattle. Wilson was 4 of 5 for 43 yards and capped his only drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Nick Vannett.

Sports on 08/11/2018

Print Headline: Darnold's debut sharp as Jets win

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