New York Jets: Does first victory actually feel like a win?

New York Jets, Adam Gase (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Jets, Adam Gase (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets have their first win but does it really feel like one?

As Sam Darnold kneeled to seal the New York Jets‘ first win of the season, it was hard to know what to think as fans. At first, there was initial happiness as the Jets would not go down in history accompanying the Lions and Browns as the only 0-16 teams in NFL history.

But after a moment, the short-lived joy of victory suddenly turned into a disappointment. Such is the dichotomy at play for fans of the Jets. Should they be happy that the team finally notched one in the win column or should they be upset or disappointed that they may now miss out on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft?

If the Jets hold the No. 1 pick in the draft, then selecting Lawrence, a generational talent at quarterback, would be a no-brainer. With the win over the Rams, however, the Jets now are slotted in at the No. 2 pick. If things stay as they are with the draft order, the offseason in New York will be fueled by conversations of whether to keep Darnold, draft a quarterback or trade down.

Moreover, the initial happiness of a victory was diminished when thinking about how this could affect the Jets coaching situation. Assuming Adam Gase is let go by the Jets after this season, potential replacements would’ve been eager to guide a talent such as Lawrence.

While the Jets could still get a player such as Justin Fields or Zach Wilson at No. 2, not having Lawrence likely makes New York a less attractive head coaching situation. That further deepens the blow of winning as a premier head coaching addition is key to the franchise finding its way back to the playoffs.

Fans have a right to be torn about the New York Jets winning.

Two valid sides of the coin have been at play for Jets fans since time ran out in Week 15. There was mixed response to the victory, as you’d expect, with some fans happy to see 13 weeks of suffering briefly end while others were in dismay that New York dropped to No. 2 in the draft order.

After the game and despite questions about his future with the franchise, Darnold was poised after the game. When questioned about the fan reaction to the win over the Rams, namely the ones who were upset about it, he offered some promising comments:

There’s no question that the players on the field deserved the win and fans should be thrilled for them. It’s difficult to swallow 13 weeks of misery to start the season and earning a victory should inspire some confidence in the locker room.

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However, if fans wake up from nightmares in which Trevor Lawrence is hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in a Jacksonville Jaguars jersey, they aren’t alone. So while it’s good to see the team win one, the victory will always sting a bit more than any of the numerous losses on the ledger.