Jets Takeaways from 23-20 win over Rams, including Frank Gore's history-making snap

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CoGreen
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Sam Darnold vs. Rams
Sam Darnold vs. Rams

If you were hoping to see the Jets with the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft with the chance to select Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, those hopes look to be all but crushed.

The Jets shocked the world Sunday by defeating the Los Angeles Rams on the road to win their first game of the season and put themselves behind the Jacksonville Jaguars in the race for that No. 1 overall pick based on strength of schedule.

Sam Darnold threw for 207 yards and a touchdown on 22 of 31 passing, while Frank Gore rushed 23 times for 59 yards and a score of his own. 

Here's a look at what went down in the Jets' first win of the season:

  • Frank Gore made history in the first quarter on a carry that went for no gain. With the snap, Gore officially played in his 240th career game, passing Lorenzo Neal for the most games played by a running back.

  • Sam Darnold connected with Ty Johnson for a touchdown on the Jets' opening drive to take a 7-0 lead. The TD connection made it eight-straight games that the Jets have scored on their opening drive, making it the longest active streak in the league, tied for the longest streak over a season and becoming the longest streak in franchise history in the process.

  • The Jets' hot started continued by forcing the Rams into back-to-back three-and-outs to start the game — the first time the Jets have done this all season. Then after extending that three-and-out streak on a drive that included a Quinnen Williams sack (seventh of the season) on Jared Goff, J.T. Hassell blocked Johnny Hekker's punt attempt and put the Jets into position to hit what eventually became a 39-yard field goal by Sam Ficken. And just like that, the Jets were up 10-0.

  • The defensive onslaught by the Jets on Goff continued, first with Nathan Shepherd sacking Goff on 2nd and long, and then with Bryce Hall intercepting him with a one-handed grab to set the Jets up again — this time for an easy 25-yard field goal for Ficken to give the Jets their largest lead of the season at 13-0. Come halftime, the Jets were up 13-3.

  • The Jets scored on their opening drive of the second half, this time a rushing touchdown from Gore on 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line. Gore dove in after 2020 first-round pick Mekhi Becton blocked defensive stud Aaron Donald out of the way. 

  • The Rams offense finally woke up in this one on their first drive of the second half, responding to the Jets' score by punching in their first TD of the game on a Goff — Robert Woods 15-yard connection. The score was sparked by a catch, spin and run by Tyler Higbee that went 45 yards down the field. The Rams closed the gap to 20-10 with a lot of time left to play.

  • Darnold led the Jets 72 yards down the field on the next drive, putting them on the Rams' three yard line with passes of 14, 16 and 24 yards sprinkled into the run. The Jets couldn't get into the end zone this time and instead settled for three points to go up 23-10 — a costly outcome, as the Rams took their next drive fully down the field and into the end zone on a Higbee catch to make it a one-possession game at 23-17.

  • Williams had to leave the game during the last Rams drive and eventually went to the locker room. He appeared to get hit in the head on one play and was seen getting his neck looked at.

  • The Jets started their next drive well with a Darnold scramble for 12 yards, but a personal foul by Trevon Wesco on the next play put the Jets at 2nd and 23 and eventually punting the ball back to the Rams — they initially scored a touchdown to tie the game, but it was brought back because of a penalty, so they settled for three and a 23-20 deficit with 6:35 to play.

  • A very quick three and out by the Jets and a 43-yard punt return by Nsimba Webster put the Rams in Jets territory. However the Rams could only muster up six yards and were faced with a 4th and four from the Jets '37. Instead of a 55 yard field goal try, Sean McVay elected to go for it on fourth and try a deep shot to Gerald Everett, but Marcus Maye was there to break up the pass and give the Jets the ball back with about four minutes left in the game.

  • The Rams couldn't stop the Jets, who finished the upset on a third down pass from Darnold to Gore that set up a victory formation lineup for their first win of the season.

  • With the win, the Jets avoided the embarrassment of going 0-16, but have now potentially put themselves out of the running for Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, who will likely go No. 1 overall — a spot that the one-win Jaguars now hold based on strength of schedule.