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‘Seeing ghosts’ football term: What did Sam Darnold mean?

sam darnold on the sidelines during mnf game versus patriots
Sam Darnold said he was ‘seeing ghosts’ during the MNF game against the Patriots. Pic credit: ESPN

With another frustrating loss, the New York Jets are searching for some sort of meaning they can take away from the season at hand. Meanwhile, fans are trying to understand the meaning of quarterback Sam Darnold’s soundbyte in which he claimed he was “seeing ghosts.” So what did Sam Darnold mean by it and does it have any football significance?

Patriots haunt Darnold, Jets with 33-0 win

Many analysts and fans are calling the Patriots’ Monday Night Football victory their best of the season so far. The defense was particularly impressive as they were able to shake up Sam Darnold enough that he turned the ball over five times in the game. Per ESPN, that’s the most turnovers Darnold has had in any game at the college or professional level.

It also prompted the New York Jets’ quarterback to say on the sidelines, “I’m seeing ghosts” as he was mic’d up for the presentation on ESPN. That particular comment drew plenty of attention and continues to do so a day later.

That random comment has fans wondering whether Darnold was in the Halloween spirit, or if he meant something different. Is he just a big fan of The Sixth Sense, a paranormal expert on the side, or was he making a football reference?

Darnold’s ‘ghosts’ line has football meaning

According to the Boston Globe, Darnold elaborated on his “seeing ghosts” comment later on when speaking to the media. It was a reference to his shaky performance based on imagined defenders.

“I think for me I just got to, when I talk to the coaches, be straight up, and for me, I just got to see the field a lot better. That’s kind of what that means,” Darnold said following the loss. “It was a rough day out there, a rough night out there. Obviously, I’ve got to be better, learn from the mistakes. But we will get better.”

He spoke more in-depth later on about his team’s performance against the Patriots. The Jets dropped to 1-5 overall in a season which began with optimism that Darnold and new teammate Le’Veon Bell might help lead them back to the postseason.

Over on a Reddit forum regarding Darnold’s “seeing ghosts” comment, a user filled everyone in on the significance. “For those that don’t know ‘seeing ghosts’ is a football term that means he’s flinching and expecting defenders to hit him that aren’t actually there,” the Reddit user informed others.

The Patriots certainly haunted Sam Darnold over a week before Halloween 2019. Will his ghostly comment haunt him throughout his career every time he has a poor performance now?

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