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Patrick Mahomes, LeBron James react on Twitter to Sam Darnold’s TD run

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Jets quarterback Sam Darnold didn’t plan on running through and past the Broncos’ defense for the first points of Thursday night’s NFL game — it just . . . happened.

Darnold avoided a blitzer on third down, juked a defensive back, faked a slide and then rambled into the end zone for a 46-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

The run is the longest in franchise history by a quarterback, and it’s the longest by an NFL QB this season. That means Darnold finally has something on Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and the other top quarterbacks in the league. 

MORE: Broncos-Jets live score, results, highlights

Speaking of Mahomes, the 2018 NFL MVP tweeted his amazement over Darnold’s feat (feet?). In his replies: a regal former tight end from Northeast Ohio:

Yo that was a crazy run!!

— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) October 2, 2020

King James compared Darnold on his own timeline to a running back:

Helluva run by Darnold! The juke move once he got out the pocket was a RB elite move

— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 2, 2020

As for the rest of Twitter . . .

Darnold went from being a mono threat to a dual threat Qb in under a year. Impressive progresson from the youngster

— PFTCommenter (@PFTCommenter) October 2, 2020

darnold couldn’t even believe that was possible. he totally planned to slide before he remembered he’s pretty athletic.

— bomani (@bomani_jones) October 2, 2020

But because these are the Jets, Darnold’s good fortune could not last; he suffered an apparent shoulder injury later in the quarter and was replaced by Joe Flacco, who made his season debut. Flacco was inactive for the Jets’ first three games as he completed his recovery from offseason neck surgery.

Darnold reentered the game early in the second quarter and was immediately sacked.

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Steven Gregory