The New York Jets were on the cusp of their first victory of the 2020 season on Sunday. Well, until they weren’t.
The Jets held a four-point lead with 13 seconds left and the Las Vegas Raiders at the 46-yard-line. All they needed to do was keep the Raiders’ wide receivers in front of them and they’d stop the 0-16 talk once and for all. But, in typical Jets fashion, they let Henry Ruggs III run right by the defense for an easy go-ahead touchdown. The defensive play call from Gregg Williams was puzzling, to say the least, and it got him fired less than 24 hours later.
The Jets keep inventing new ways to lose
Here’s something you haven’t heard much this year. The Jets played well enough to win a football game on Sunday. Yeah, really.
New York ran through the Raiders’ defense for 206 yards, and it out-gained Las Vegas in terms of yards per play, 6.3 to 5.9. The Jets scored a one-yard rushing touchdown with 5:38 left in the game to take a 28-24 lead. After a fourth-down stop on the ensuing drive, it looked as if the Jets were finally about to put a tally in the win column.
But New York went three-and-out on their offensive drive and punted the ball back to the Raiders with 35 seconds left. OK, fine. Las Vegas had to go 61 yards in a half a minute with no timeouts to steal the game.
Derek Carr led the Raiders to the Jets’ 46-yard-line with 13 seconds left. On a third-and-10, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams sent seven players on a blitz and left his secondary isolated in man coverage. So, of course, Henry Ruggs III ran right past rookie cornerback Lamar Jackson (no relation to the NFL MVP) and Carr hit him for the game-winning score.
The Jets drew up a historic play call to blow the game
Even the most mundane football fans could draw up a winning play call in that situation. Rush three or four linemen, keep everyone else back in coverage and don’t let anyone behind you. Easy enough, right?
Instead, Gregg Williams drew up an unprecedented blitz that allowed the Raiders to get behind the defensive backfield. It wasn’t just an abnormal play call. It was historic.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, the Jets were the first defense in the last 15 years to send six or more pass-rushers in that specific situation. Mind-boggling stuff. If it wasn’t obvious before that the Jets were purposefully gunning for an 0-16 record and the No. 1 overall draft pick, it sure is now.
Gregg Williams was fired Monday morning
Williams’ historic play call wasn’t just enough to lose his team the game. It was even enough to get him fired.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the Jets fired Williams on Monday morning, less than 24 hours after New York’s 12th loss of the season. But why? Williams saved the Jets from falling out of the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes by blowing the game. Shouldn’t he be rewarded?
Either way, if the Jets end up winning a Super Bowl with Lawrence under center, Williams deserves an apology.