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National Football League
N.Y. Jets 23, L.A. Rams 20
When: 4:05 PM ET, Sunday, December 20, 2020
Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
Temperature: 77°
Head Official: Tony Corrente
Attendance: 0

Sam Darnold threw for 207 yards in his homecoming and the New York Jets pulled off their first victory of the season defeating the Los Angeles Rams 23-20 on Sunday at Inglewood, Calif.

The Jets' defense held the Rams to just three points and 97 total yards in the first half, and 303 yards in the game, to avoid becoming the first team to go winless in a season since the Cleveland Browns in 2017.

The Rams (9-5) were more than two-touchdown favorites and needed a victory to become playoff eligible. Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw for 209 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, while rookie Cam Akers overcame a first-half ankle injury to rush for 63 yards on 15 carries.

The Rams were driving for a potential go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter and were forced to go for the first down on fourth-and-4 from the Jets 37-yard line. But Jets safety Marcus Maye knocked down a pass intended for Rams tight end Gerald Everett to give New York the ball.

The Jets (1-13) ran out the clock from there to win a game for the first time since a season-ending victory over the Buffalo Bills in 2019.

The Jets had a 23-10 lead entering the fourth quarter, before the Rams cut the deficit to 23-17 on Goff's 3-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Higbee with 13:47 remining.

The Rams pulled within 23-20 on a 42-yard field goal from Matt Gay with 6:35 remaining. They settled for the field goal after it appeared Akers scored the game-tying touchdown on an 18-yard run, only for it to be called back because of a holding penalty against lineman Austin Corbett.

Darnold, a former first-round draft pick out of Southern California, threw an 18-yard TD pass to Ty Johnson in the first quarter, while Sam Ficken made two second-quarter field goals to give the Jets a 13-0 lead.

The Rams did not score in the first half until Gay made a 45-yard field goal on the final play before halftime.

The Jets made it 20-3 on a 1-yard run by Frank Gore with 8:30 remaining in the third quarter.

Goff also threw a third-quarter touchdown pass to Robert Woods, but Los Angeles' offense could not overcome a stagnant first half when it had just six first downs and two of those in the final minute before the break.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
N.Y. Jets   L.A. Rams
Frank Gore Player Cam Akers
23 Attempts 15
59 Yards 63
2.6 Avg Yards 4.2
1 Touchdowns 0
8 Long 11
N.Y. Jets   L.A. Rams
Jamison Crowder Player Tyler Higbee
6 Receptions 4
66 Yards 67
11.0 Avg Yards 16.8
0 Touchdowns 1
24 Long 44
Team Stats Summary
  Yards Scoring Defense
Team Tot Rus Pas TD FG INT Sck FF
N.Y. Jets 289 93 196 2 3 1 3.0 0
L.A. Rams 303 114 189 2 2 0 2.0 1
Upcoming Games
  • L.A. Rams will play their next game on the road against Seattle. The Rams have a W/L % of .444 after a win and 1.000 after a loss.
  • N.Y. Jets will play their next game at home against Cleveland. The Jets have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .077 after a loss.