New York Jets (1-13) beat Los Angeles Rams, however now not front-runners for No. 1 decide

The New York Jets gained a soccer recreation Sunday for the primary time in 358 days, however they may have suffered a loss that will likely be felt lots longer.

With a 23-20 upset of the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, the Jets (1-13) relinquished their front-runner place for the No. 1 total decide within the 2021 NFL draft. In a decades-long seek for a franchise quarterback, they may have blown their shot at Clemson star Trevor Lawrence, the presumptive prime decide.

“Hey, our job is to attempt to exit and win each week,” embattled coach Adam Gase stated, dismissing the narrative {that a} loss would’ve been extra helpful to the franchise.

By pulling off essentially the most unbelievable win of the 2020 NFL season, and one of many largest upsets in group historical past, the Jets fell behind the Jacksonville Jaguars within the race for No. 1. They’ve the identical document, however the Jaguars clinched the tiebreaker, in keeping with ESPN analysis. The tiebreaker is predicated on energy of schedule, and the Jaguars have performed a considerably weaker schedule than the Jets.

That did not dampen the Jets’ postgame celebration.

“It is an incredible feeling,” stated quarterback Sam Darnold, the participant who might be most impacted by the Jets’ draft place.

The Jets snapped a 13-game shedding streak, the longest in franchise historical past, and eradicated the potential for turning into the third group in NFL historical past to complete 0-16.

“It has been too lengthy for us to even bear in mind what a win appears like virtually,” a relieved Gase stated.

It was a crushing loss to the Rams (9-5), who missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth and fell out of first place within the NFC West. Coach Sean McVay referred to as it a “very humbling” defeat, including, “This loss will demoralize us solely as a lot as we enable it to. It may be embarrassing, sick to your abdomen about it.”

McVay referred to as Gase the opposite day at 7:15 a.m. ET to go with his counterpart on his group’s tenacity, regardless of its 0-13 begin. It is uncommon for opposing coaches to speak in the course of the run-up to a recreation, however McVay needed to share that sentiment with Gase after watching Jets tape.

“I am sitting there going, ‘I can not imagine he is on the workplace already,’ as a result of it is 4:15 [in Los Angeles],” Gase stated. “I used to be going to reply it, simply because I knew he was up and needed to say one thing.”

The Jets confirmed psychological toughness as they practically blew a 20-Three lead, defending a three-point benefit within the last 5 minutes with a touchdown-saving sort out by punter Braden Mann, a fourth-down go breakup by security Marcus Maye and a game-clinching catch by working again Frank Gore with 2:20 play.

Gore, 37, who lamented just a few weeks in the past that he did not wish to finish his legendary profession with an 0-16 season, was beaming after the sport.

“I’ve had robust years and this has been a troublesome one,” stated Gore, the third-leading rusher in NFL historical past. “One factor I can say: I by no means went 0-16.”

How beautiful was the upset? Every week earlier, the Jets suffered essentially the most lopsided lack of the Gase period — 40-Three in opposition to the Seattle Seahawks. The Jets went off as 17-point underdogs in opposition to the Rams. It tied for the second-largest upset win for them within the Tremendous Bowl period; the one one bigger was Tremendous Bowl III in 1969, when the Jets shocked the Baltimore Colts as 18-point underdogs.

This marked the third consecutive season an underdog of 17 factors or extra has gained outright. From 1978 to 2017, there had been solely three such upsets, in keeping with ESPN Stats & Info.

For weeks, the Jets’ fan base has been buzzing in regards to the prospect of drafting Lawrence, regarded by expertise evaluators as a generational prospect.

“It does not have an effect on us,” Darnold stated of the hypothesis.

Darnold, who has struggled, performed his most effective recreation of the season. He accomplished 22 of 31 passes for 207 yards and a landing, snapping a streak of 5 straight video games below 200 yards. He had no turnovers and made good selections below stress, throwing the ball away as an alternative of constructing a unfavourable play.

“There was no panic,” Gase stated.

Darnold’s future stays unsure, because the Jets clinched a top-three decide and nonetheless may go for a quarterback. They’ve months earlier than they make that call.

For now, it was about celebrating a uncommon win. The sensation was so unfamiliar that Gase stated he paid extra consideration to the victory formation than ever earlier than, ensuring nothing went incorrect.

Darnold ended the sport with three kneel-downs.

“The best feeling in sports activities to have the ability to ice the sport out,” he stated.

ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry contributed to this report.

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