In ordinary times, you’d think most players on teams with a 2-13 record would already have their suitcases packed, and flights and resorts booked for some warm-weather getaways with their families or significant others. But this is an extraordinary time as the NFL will complete its 2020 regular season, contested during the coronavirus pandemic, this weekend and the New York Jets have proved during their modest two-game win streak that they are not a common group.
“The guys have been uplifting every week, even losing as many as we have,” said QB Sam Darnold. “At the same time winning cures everything. When you win, the guys have more energy throughout the week. When we were 0-13 guys were still coming in the building ready to work. It’s a credit to the type of guys we have in the locker room. Really good dudes and guys I love playing with.”
The “dudes,” who were 17-point underdogs against the then 9-4 Rams and 9.5-point underdogs to the then 10-4 Browns, followed up a hard-fought 23-20 win at LA with a 23-16 triumph over Cleveland at MetLife Stadium. They’ve found a winning formula and they’ll face the Patriots on Sunday with an opportunity to close the season on a three-game tear while giving their longtime nemesis its 10th loss for the first time since 2000, which happened to be Bill Belichick’s first season in New England.
“Darnold is back in the lineup, looks like…