On Sunday, it seemed like the Las Vegas Raiders were going to give the New York Jets their first win of the season.
With just seconds left in the game, the Raiders were flirting with a 6-6 record.
The Raiders lined up on the Jets 46-yard-line, down four, with just 13 seconds left.
In most instances, the game is all but over.
However, you can’t count on the Jets to make the conventional play.
In a call that many have since criticized and questioned, the Jets sent an eight-man blitz and left their secondary in one-on-one coverage.
HENRY RUGGS GAME-WINNING TD 🚨
Jets stay winless
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 6, 2020
Many believe this was an example of the Jets tanking to maintain their winless record for the No. 1 overall pick.
The Raiders were led by a record day from tight end Darren Waller, who had 200 receiving yards and two TDs.
Defensively, Clelin Ferrell also had a dominant performance rushing the passer.
His two sacks and two forced fumbles helped lead the defense to a victory.
For the Raiders, this was a big win for the team’s playoff hopes.
After a loss to the Falcons last week dropped their odds to 30-35%, this week’s victory boosted it to 46%.
Now, at 7-5, the Raiders are right in the thick of a playoff race.
They are right on the bubble of the playoffs, just sitting on the outside looking in.
A Raiders Playoff Push
Being the eighth seed, they are just outside of the playoff picture.
"We were down to the wire, and we knew that we needed a play."@__RUGGS and @derekcarrqb combined for the play of the season, and repeated Raiders history against the Jets fifty years to the date » https://t.co/UBAiMQweRZ pic.twitter.com/o5nL2Z2aKT
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 7, 2020
They trail the Dolphins (sixth seed) and Colts (seventh seed) by a game.
This sets up a major Week 14 matchup between the Raiders and Colts which has playoff implications.
If they are able to win that game, their playoff chances go up even more to 70%.
A loss reduces their chances and puts them far outside the playoff picture.
As they look for their first playoff berth since 2016, next week’s game is the team’s most important of the season.
It can put them in a very good position to play postseason football, marking the team’s inaugural season in Las Vegas as a success.
The Tanking Jets
For the Jets, the loss continues the team’s march to the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
There is nothing good for the Jets this season, with fans having to suffer while watching the league’s worst team.
The good news is that the team will almost certainly be able to take QB Trevor Lawrence.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 6, 2020
While drafting a franchise QB can make a big impact for a team’s success, the Jets will have a lot of work to do in other areas.
The firing of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams after the questionable blitz call is the first step for the team.
Now, the spotlight will shift to the team’s decision on second-year head coach Adam Gase.
Gase had already given up his offensive play calling duties prior to their Week 7 game against the Bills.
However, a move is unlikely to happen this season.
The organization seems more than content with having the NFL’s worst record.
The Raiders definitely will not be complaining, though.
They were able to take advantage of the struggling Jets, and now have a clearer path at the playoffs.
If they can use the momentum of this win to string together a few more, they may have a good look at the playoffs.