Jets stun Rams for first win, hand Jaguars inside track to Trevor Lawrence

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The New York Jets fended off an 0-16 season on Sunday, stunning the heavily favored Los Angeles Rams, 23-20 for their first win of the season.

Did they cost themselves in the long run in the process?

Jaguars gain edge for Trevor Lawrence

With the win, the Jets improved to 1-13 on the season, moving into a tie with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the worst record in the NFL. Thanks to having an easier schedule and the tiebreaker that comes with it, the Jaguars now have the inside track to the No. 1 pick in the draft and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

New York threatened to blow a big advantage, allowing the Rams to rally late from a 20-3 deficit. But the Jets held on late in the fourth quarter and knelt in victory formation for the first time in 2020.

With the stunning loss as 17-point favorites, the 9-5 Rams missed a chance at home to secure a playoff berth and now sit a game behind the 10-4 Seattle Seahawks for the NFC West lead.

Sam Darnold and the Jets picked up their first win on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Sam Darnold and the Jets picked up their first win on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

The Jaguars, meanwhile, lost 40-14 to the Baltimore Ravens earlier in the day to fall to 1-13. They’ll close the season with a home game against the 7-7 Chicago Bears next week and a road trip to face the 10-4 Indianapolis Colts in Week 17.

Was the win worth it?

The Jets close their season at home against the 9-4 Cleveland Browns and on the road against the 6-8 New England Patriots. If both teams lose out and the Jaguars maintain the easier strength of schedule, they will secure the No. 1 pick in the draft. They would almost surely use the pick to secure the rights to Lawrence, who’s hyped as a generational talent.

That scenario would likely leave the Jets looking to Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields or BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, consolation prizes in a draft with a clear No. 1 prospect.

Eric Edholm's mock draft heading into Sunday's Week 15. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)
Eric Edholm's mock draft heading into Sunday's Week 15. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

Jets take big lead, hold off Rams rally

The Jets dominated much of Sunday, looking little like the team that was on pace to go down as one of the worst in NFL history. They scored the game’s first 13 points and entered halftime holding the league’s fifth-ranked offense to three points with a 13-3 edge.

They opened the second half with a 72-yard touchdown drive to take a 20-3 lead early in the third quarter. Then the Rams rallied. Los Angeles scored touchdowns on consecutive 75-yard drives and cut the Jets’ lead to 23-20 with a field goal with 6:35 remaining.

The Rams’ final possession ended on downs when a deep Jared Goff pass to tight end Gerald Everett fell incomplete on fourth down.

The Jets looked to running back Frank Gore to run out the clock when they got the ball back with 3:54 remaining. He picked up a pair of first downs, allowing Sam Darnold to take a knee on the final three snaps after the two-minute warning.

It was an unfamiliar and satisfying scene for Jets players this season. Will the franchise end up regretting it?

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