Adam Gase, Sam Darnold explain why Jets' first win 'means the world' to them

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Scott Thompson
·3 min read
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Sam Darnold embraces Marcus Maye after win
Sam Darnold embraces Marcus Maye after win

Jets fans may feel differently about the win against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. But the team couldn’t be happier that the hard work they’ve been putting in since training camp finally paid off with one game in the win column.

Head coach Adam Gase, who made it to the Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos years ago, said this win was unlike any other he’s experienced in his coaching career.

“Been through a lot of different things in my career, I don’t think I’ve seen a group more excited after a game than what I saw last night,” he told reporters via conference call on Monday.

“Guys were just excited that all the hard work they put in since we started in training camp finally paid off. It took a lot longer than we obviously wanted it to. Nothing’s really gone right this season and they’ve been through a lot of adversity. The fact that our guys just keep fighting and trying to do things right, and they came out and played a good team and did a lot of things right and played a good game of complimentary football. There was a lot of really good plays in this game.”

Gase said that his happiness stemmed from what he saw from the players because it has been such a trying year for the Jets. Their first win almost came two weeks ago against the Las Vegas Raiders, but even that fell through. Still, the players and coaches went to work the next day looking for this moment, and it came against a heavy favorite.

“I thought we played just a really good team win,” Sam Darnold said. “We played well in all three phases when we had to. On offense, we played a lot more consistent than we have been, and I think that was the biggest thing. We came out fast and I feel like we were able to sustain that through the whole game. Obviously, yeah, there were some times we did stall out and had some three-and-outs. But we stayed positive and we made sure, and I think I said this yesterday, we made sure we had positive plays.”

Gase added that owner Christopher Johnson shared the same level of joy for his club as the rest of the team did.

“I think he was just happy for guys, he was happy for our coaching staff and organization,” Gase explained about Johnson. “He sees the work being put in and how guys have really put their heads down and tried to make things right. I think he was just really happy for everybody.”

Obviously, the win has big implications for the future of the Jets’ franchise, given that they now own the second overall pick compared to the first with the Jacksonville Jaguars having the easier strength of schedule. There are still two games left to determine the 2021 NFL Draft board.

That isn’t on the mind of this team, though. They have the Cleveland Browns on their minds now and they will look to create a winning streak for the first time in a long time. Fans can think what they want, but as Darnold put it, the win was just a huge weight lifted off everyone’s shoulders.

“I know it’s a huge relief for the guys in the locker room to be able to get this win and it means the world for us,” he said.