The New York Jets won big for losing in almost impossible fashion to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, 31-28, on a last second 46-yard touchdown pass. Had the Jets pulled the upset, they would have fallen to the No. 2 spot in the 2021 NFL Draft order, but by staying winless they remain on track to finish 0-16 and earn the No. 1 pick and chance to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Jets ‘Avoid’ Win | 2020 NFL Expert Analysis
For some reason, Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams called an all-out blitz with the Raiders at the New York 46 with 13 seconds left and facing third-and-10. The “zero blitz” call meant there was no safety help for the cornerbacks. The situation called for a soft zone — a prevent defense. Naturally, Raiders wideout Henry Ruggs III got behind Jets rookie cornerback Lamar Jackson (no relation to the Baltimore QB) for the stunning victory.
If the Jets had played prevent and Derek Carr had completed a pass in the middle of the field, there’s a good chance time would have expired. Dating to 2006, it was the first time a team sent six or more rushers in the final 15 seconds of regulation when leading by four-to-eight points and being more than 40 yards from the end zone.
Defensive captain Marcus Maye publicly questioned the call after the game several times during a Zoom call with reporters. “That situation, just has to be a better call,” Maye said. “We gotta execute, but you gotta help us out at the same time.”
Williams paid the price on Monday in being fired, but that works out for him. He still gets paid but instead of having to deal with the crappy Jets on a daily basis, he can go home and be with his family for the holidays. Williams, 62, has been the Jets defensive coordinator since last year when he joined the team along with head coach Adam Gase. The Jets rank 29th in total defense this year and 30th in scoring defense.
The Jets are now 0-12 for the first time in franchise history and the 12-game losing streak matches the longest ever for the Jets, which they also did in 1995-96.
New York is a two-touchdown underdog this Sunday in Seattle and will likely be at least a 7-point dog in the other three remaining games: at LA Rams, vs. Cleveland and at New England. With the Jets luck, though, Lawrence may opt to return for his senior season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars lost their franchise-record 11th straight game Sunday to fall to 1-11 and are the only realistic team who could catch the Jets – Jacksonville would win a “tiebreaker” thanks to an easier strength of schedule. The Jags are 7.5-point home dogs this Sunday vs. Tennessee and finish at Baltimore, vs. Chicago (Jacksonville could win that) and at Indianapolis.
Even without four of their top five cornerbacks and their best pass-rusher (Josh Allen) the last two weeks the Jaguars trailed in the fourth quarter by single digits and had chances to either tie or take the lead.
The only other team in the league with fewer than three wins is Cincinnati at 2-8-1; of course, the Bengals had the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and took LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. He had been playing quite well until going down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 11.
Cincinnati could be sitting pretty at No. 3 because Lawrence and fellow QB Justin Fields figure to go 1-2 in the draft. That would leave the top offensive lineman prospect, Oregon’s Penei Sewell, to land in the Bengals’ laps and they need help protecting Burrow.
Next up for the Bengals is a game against the Dallas Cowboys, a game loaded with draft implications. Dallas currently sits at 3-8 with the fifth pick.
The 2021 NFL Draft is scheduled to take place April 29 – May 1, 2021 in Downtown Cleveland. That could always change, though, if the pandemic is still growing strong. The 2020 draft was supposed to be held in Las Vegas but instead was held virtually. The Browns, who played their inaugural season in 1946, will also be celebrating their 75th anniversary throughout 2021.
Current Top 5 NFL Draft Order
- NY Jets (0-12)
- Jacksonville (1-11)
- Cincinnati (2-9-1)
- LA Chargers (3-9)
- Dallas (3-8)
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