The 2020 New York Jets have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The Las Vegas Raiders, staring down a loss to the NFL’s only winless team, scored a touchdown with five seconds left on a Hail Mary from quarterback Derek Carr, defeating the Jets 31-28.
Until that moment, it seemed like the Jets were going to win. Carr was in desperation mode, overthrowing every pass in an effort to get it into the end zone. Just a few seconds more and the Jets would no longer be the NFL’s winless embarrassment. Jets players were probably even planning out their victory dances and celebrations.
But by now, everyone on the face of the planet — including the players themselves — should have learned not to overestimate the Jets and head coach Adam Gase. There was exactly one way for them to lose that game, and they lost it.
In a way, you could say the Raiders don’t deserve it. They allowed themselves to almost lose to the NFL’s most hilarious clown show. They were saved from that fate only by a miracle throw caught by Henry Ruggs for a 46-yard score in the final seconds of the game. But the Jets, their first win just five short seconds away, deserved it less. After Carr had been heaving throws downfield, they somehow let a Raider catch that ball. That’s why they’re the Jets.
Tank for Lawrence
The Jets lost 31-28, blowing their best chance all season to break their 0-fer. On the bright side, that loss kept them in position to take Trevor Lawrence, the outstanding Clemson quarterback, first overall in the 2021 draft. Lawrence has the chance to be their franchise savior, and they almost traded it for a meaningless, purely symbolic win against the flailing Raiders. If even one win costs them a chance to draft Lawrence — or the chance to be rid of Gase forever — then it’s just not worth it.
If the Jets hang on to the first draft pick, that touchdown will be remembered as the most dazzling tank move ever. It’s the play that truly brought Lawrence to the Jets, potentially changing the trajectory of their franchise forever. Or, well, they could continue to be the Jets and find a way to screw that up too. But that’s the future’s problem. For now, Jets fans can look at their 0-12 record and see nothing but Trevor Lawrence’s smiling face, and be comforted that no team is worse than they are.
More from Yahoo Sports: