The New York Jets entered Sunday at 0-11 on the season, a game ahead of the 1-10 Jacksonville Jaguars for the first overall pick and, presumptively, the right to select Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence in next April’s NFL Draft.
Both teams found themselves in the lead at various points on Sunday, as the two fanbases fretted over the possibility of getting a win and ruining their draft position. Now, the players on the field of course don’t care about where they’re drafting next year, but fans surely do and for the Jets they found themselves leading by four points late in the game against the Raiders.
Las Vegasmarched down the field and had a 4th-and-3 opportunity inside the 10, but failed to convert on a second attempt after offsetting holding penalties wiped away a touchdown initially. However, with just over 90 seconds to play, Las Vegas had two timeouts remaining and were able to force a punt, getting the ball back with just over 30 seconds to play. After moving the ball into Jets territory, Vegas needed a minor miracle to escape the ignominy of being the first team to lose to New York this season, and got that in the form of a bomb from Derek Carr to rookie speedster Henry Ruggs III.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 6, 2020
It is an incredibly Jets finish to the game, as New York somehow failed to put any safety help over the top on the outside of the field, instead leaving room for Ruggs to go one-on-one and, with his incredibly sub-4.3 speed, that’s a losing proposition for most defensive backs in the league.
Jets fans are thrilled by the result, as they maintain a stranglehold on the top spot in next year’s draft, and as such the right to take Lawrence or Justin Fields or whatever player they desire. Jaguars fans, meanwhile, not only saw their hopes for being tied for that top spot taken away but find themselves in overtime in Minnesota with a chance of moving two games out of that top pick and, likely, locking themselves into second at best.