Jets, 17-point underdogs, get first win in shocker over 9-4 Rams
Just when everyone thought the New York Jets were a lock to go 0-16, they stunned the NFL — and maybe themselves — in Week 15. Entering Sunday at 0-13, Gang Green defeated the 9-4 Los Angeles Rams in one of the greatest upsets in NFL history.
The Jets, 17-point underdogs, controlled most of the game and forged a 20-3 lead midway through the third quarter. They wobbled but then stopped the Rams on two late drives to preserve a 23-20 win which avoids the 0-16 bagel… but jeopardizes their No. 1 NFL draft position, which means the Jacksonville Jaguars are currently in line to get Trevor Lawrence of Clemson.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 21, 2020
Many Jets fans will lament the victory and the surrender of the No. 1 draft spot to the Jaguars, but an 0-16 record is a unique marker of humiliation and incompetence no bunch of athletes and coaches wants to bear for the rest of a career. No one in the New York locker room will have to carry that particular weight into the coming offseason.
The Jets’ losing streak was weird for one reason: New York continued its string of first-drive scores in this game. Gang Green scored on its opening drive against the Rams, marking eight straight games with a first-drive score of some kind. The Jets’ incompetence emerged in their utter inability to build off first drives, but in this game against the Rams, they actually carried early positives through the rest of the game.
Interestingly enough, Sam Darnold won his first game of 2020 in the city where he starred with the USC Trojans. He dealt the Rams a stinging loss in their attempt to gain a top-two seed in the NFC. This loss by the Rams puts them two games behind the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints in the loss column, in the pursuit for the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
The Rams face a season-defining game at the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday. They will have to turn the page from this embarrassment against an 0-13 Jets team… which is now 1-13.