With quarterback Sam Darnold back at the helm after recovering from a bout of mononucleosis, the New York Jets (1-4) won their first game of the season by defeating the slumping Dallas Cowboys, 24-22. The #LOLJets looked like a legitimate team for the first time all season, with their upset over the Cowboys.
The Jets jumped out to a 21-3 lead and held on to the victory. Late in the fourth quarter, the Jets defense stopped a two-point conversion to thwart a potential overtime scenario.
The Jets won their first game of the season after starting out 0-4. The Dallas Cowboys (3-3) started their season 3-0, but have lost their last three games.
Darnold finished the Dallas game with 338 passing yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. In the previous two games with Luke Falk under center, the Jets posted 233 total yards of offense. In their previous three games without Darnold, the Jets were outscored 84-23. In one game, Darnold generated more points than the Jets’ previous three outings.
“We knew with Sam back we’d move the ball,” said safety Jamal Adams. “He’s a helluva quarterback. He wasn’t drafted in the Top 5 for no reason.”
“He’s special,” said running back Le’Veon Bell.
“It’s only one win, but it’s a good one,” added Adams on the Jets upset.
The Return of Darnold
Darnold’s spleen shrunk enough to allow him to play without dying. He picked a heck of a game to return to the mix. The Jets were only a home dog by seven points, but the spread reached as high as nine points late in the week. The Cowboys made the trip to New Jersey without two of their starting offensive linemen, which is why the line was only a touchdown.
Most Jets fan expected the Cowboys were going to blow out their team. With Darnold in the mix, however, they figured the Jets had an outside shot at scoring double digits.
No one expected to see the Jets jump out to a 7-0 lead on the second drive of the game.
The Jets caught their first break when the Cowboys failed to convert a fourth down deep in Jets territory. Down 7-3, Dak Prescott could not convert. Instead of kicking a field goal to trim to lead to 7-6, Jason Garrett went for it. But missed.
On the next play, the Cowboys defense fell for a play-action fake to Le’Veon Bell. Darnold unleashed a bomb to Robby Anderson. In a flash, the Jets scored another touchdown to extended the lead, 14-3.
The longest TD from scrimmage this season.
— NFL (@NFL) October 13, 2019
The 92-yard touchdown was the longest touchdown in the NFL this season. It also felt like the longest touchdown for the Jets this century.
After Dallas kicked a field goal, the Jets snuck in another touchdown at end of the first half. Darnold efficiently ran the two-minute drill to lock up another score. The Jets led 21-6. At that point, even the most jaded Jets fan felt, “We’re totally blowing this, but at least Darnold hooked up with a big-ass bomb and got a cool highlight.”
The Jets allowed the Cowboys to come back with 16 points in the second half. In the fourth quarter, the Jets squeezed out a field goal to go ahead 24-16 with 3:46 remaining.
Everyone expected the worst. The Jets have terrible luck combined with the ability to screw things up at the worst possible moment. The fact the Jets didn’t blow the game is more of a shock to hardcore fans than the Jets actually winning the game via upset. When you have a fatalist attitude, it’s difficult to remain positive with the #LOLJets.
With Prescott running the two-minute drill, the Cowboys marched down the field. Prescott scampered into the end zone for a touchdown with less than a minute remaining to pull within two points. The Cowboys missed an opportunity to tie the game when they whiffed on the two-point conversion.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) October 13, 2019
Jets safety, Jamal Adams, gambled with a blitz right up the gut, which paid off when no one blocked him.
The Jets held on to lock up their first victory of the season with the upset. More importantly, the Jets offense looked halfway decent for the first time all season. With Darnold back in the mix, there’s hope once again in Jetslandia.
“We were starving for a win,” said Darnold. “To come out here and do it in the fashion that we did with the defense getting a huge stop on the two-point conversion. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Garrett Walking Back to Dallas?
The Cowboys began the season with a 3-0 record and heavy Super Bowl aspirations. Fantasy nerds and metrics geeks were unimpressed with the Cowboys start. The first three wins came at the expense of the Miami Dolphins, New Yok Giants, and Washington Redskins.
The Giants started the season 0-2 before Eli Manning finally got benched in favor of Danny Dimes. The Cowboys beat the Giants in one of Manning’s final games.
The Dolphins are in full-blown tanking mode. They’re so bad, they lost the Winless Bowl against the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, in their first game in the post-Jay Gruden era, are so bad, they almost lost to the Dolphins.
With the Jets in the mix in Week 6, four of the six opponents for the Cowboys were among the worst teams in the NFL. They also had the benefit of playing the New Orleans Saints without Drew Brees, but they were unable to defeat the Saints with backup Teddy Bridgewater running the show.
With the Cowboys 3-3, head coach Jason Garrett’s job is once again on the line. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, “I’m not even coming close to those future-type considerations.”
That’s not exactly a vote of confidence. Then again, it’s not the kiss of death either. Garrett would have been totally dunzo if Jones uttered the cliched phrase, “I have full confidence in Jason Garrett.” Once you hear those initial four words, you know a head coach is a dead man walking.
But heck, losing to the #LOLJets? That’s embarrassing. If this were the 1970s Yankees, George Steinbrenner would have fired Garrett on the spot after the Jets upset and left him at the Meadowlands parking lot to fend his own way back home to Texas.