Jets’ drive for Trevor Lawrence still alive after inexplicable loss to Patriots

If the New York Jets end up with Trevor Lawrence and he’s the star quarterback they’ve been chasing since Joe Namath, Jets fans can fondly remember what happened in the fourth quarter on Monday night.

The Jets had a win. Despite being 0-8 coming in they were thoroughly outplaying the New England Patriots, a sentence that wouldn’t have been conceivable for the past two decades. The Jets led by 10 midway through the fourth quarter.

Then it fell apart. The Patriots got a field goal. Joe Flacco threw an inexplicable deep interception to J.C. Jackson with 5:50 left. The Patriots drove and Cam Newton scored with 1:57 to tie it.

The Jets then quickly went three-and-out and the Patriots had 47 seconds to win it in overtime. Newton hit a big 20-yard throw to Jakobi Meyers with three seconds left and Nick Folk hit a 51-yard field goal to get a 30-27 win on the final play of regulation.

Ultimately it might be for the best that the Jets lost, but it was another reminder of how awful this season has been.

New England Patriots' Rex Burkhead, left, signals a touchdown as quarterback Cam Newton scores during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)

Jets blow it in the fourth

The Jets had chances to get off the field after Flacco’s interception, which was blindly thrown into the middle of heavy coverage downfield. A holding call gave the Patriots a first down after Newton threw incomplete on third down. The Jets gave up a 19-yard catch to Meyers on third-and-20, and Newton picked up the first down on a fourth-down quarterback sneak. After a long gain to Damiere Byrd, Newton scored a 1-yard touchdown to tie the game.

Jakobi Meyers of the New England Patriots was key in the Patriots' win Monday night. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Jakobi Meyers of the New England Patriots was key in the Patriots' win Monday night. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Then came a maddening sequence. The Jets went three-and-out, with a sack on their possession and an aimless third-down incompletion from Flacco. That left the Patriots enough time for a game-winning drive.

Newton’s huge throw with three seconds left set up Folk as time expired. Anyone who thinks the Patriots are tanking didn’t watch the end of Monday night’s game.

Jets still can go 0-16

Going 0-16 in the NFL is not easy. Every NFL team has professionals, no player or coach would ever try to lose because they don’t want anything bad on tape, and you’re bound to stumble into one good performance and win.

The Jets are a horrible team, but the Patriots aren’t very good either this season. Flacco had some great passes to give the Jets a double-digit lead. The Jets have a bad defense, but the Patriots don’t really have any playmakers to worry about. For most of the night, it looked like the Jets would win. It’s amazing they blew it.

Not too amazing, though. These are the Jets. Their only hope to turn things around in the near future might be to bottom out and get Lawrence. The fourth quarter collapse was crucial in that plan.

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