EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (AP) – The game seemed almost over and the Raiders wanted to lose to the low jets.
Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr and his teammates were not ashamed.
Carr tossed Henry Ruggs III a perfectly placed 46-yard touchdown pass with five seconds remaining, bringing the Raiders to a wild 31:28 win over the winless Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
“When I looked back it felt like the ball was in the air forever, like it couldn’t come down,” said Ruggs. “I just had to find it and do the piece.”
The Jets took the lead 28:24, 5 minutes 34 seconds from Ty Johnson’s 1-yard touchdown, and the defense came down with a big stop that put the Jets (0-12) at the end of their season seemed to bring the route – long streak of bad luck.
But the offensive ended with a chance to seal the game, and Carr and the Raiders had 35 seconds to try to come back. Four games later, the Jets flashed Carr, who saw Ruggs on the field after beating rookie cornerback Lamar Jackson.
“I couldn’t believe we were totally blown away,” said Carr. “As soon as I saw it, I was grateful.”
It sparked a wild celebration for the Raiders (7-5).
“It didn’t really feel like it to me,” said Darren Waller, who had two touchdown catches. “I didn’t know what was going on. I ran to Henry at full speed. “
In the meantime, the deflated jets could only imagine what could have been – and maybe should.
“Our players are working way too hard to keep this up,” said Jets coach Adam Gase, using a line at the end of his sentence.
The Jets had one last chance after a squib kick from Las Vegas, but Sam Darnold’s Hail Mary throw was knocked down before the end zone.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Johnson, who ran for a career height of 104 yards and a touchdown.
Carr threw for 381 yards and three touchdown passes and ran for another score. Waller had 13 catches for 200 yards, making it the 12th close end since the NFL and AFL merged in 1970 with 150 or more yards and two or more touchdown catches in a game.
The Raiders’ Clelin Ferrell had two strip sacks on his return from the Covid-19 list when Las Vegas rebounded from a loss to Atlanta last week to stay in the middle of the AFC playoff chase.
“It was so hard to really enjoy it because the game created so much emotion throughout the game,” said Ferrell. “I know the Raiders fans really, really tripped the whole game. Up and down, up and down – it was crazy. “
On the drive before winning possession, the Raiders seemed to have kicked off in fourth place when Hunter Renfrow caught a pass in the end zone – but the teams had opposing penalties. Another chance gave Carr’s pass to Nelson Agholor in the end zone and the Jets defense sped off the field with arms raised in solemnity.
But it was only temporary.
The Jets lost their twelfth game in a row, tying the franchise brand for the longest losing streak that spanned the 1995 and 1996 seasons under coach Rich Kotite. The Jets stay on pace to join the 2008 Detroit Lions and 2017 Cleveland Browns as the only NFL teams going 0-16.
“We should have won,” said Darnold, who had two lost fumbles and an interception.
Darnold ran it from 4 meters to start a 96-yard touchdown ride that began the Jets’ comeback in the fourth quarter. A pass interference penalty gave the Jets another chance at a 2-point conversion, and Darnold tossed to Denzel Mims to get the Jets within 24-21 at 10:22.
The Jets got the ball back three games later when Javelin Guidry pushed the ball out of Ruggs’ hands after a 12-yard catch and Marcus Maye regained the fumble.
The Jets took advantage of an 18-yard catch from Griffin pinched by a couple of runs – and a personal foul penalty on Ferrell – to get the ball to the Raiders’ 1-yard line. Johnson moved to the left at 5:34 to give the go-ahead.
In the loss, Darnold threw his first touchdown pass since Week 3 after suffering two separate two-game stints with shoulder injuries on the sideline. He was able to complete an initial 12-game drive of 74 yards with a 3-yard touchdown throw against Jamison Crowder. He also had his first game with at least two touchdown passes since December 12, 2019 against Baltimore.
The Jets will head against Seattle next Sunday, while the Indianapolis Colts will take place in Las Vegas on Sunday.