Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference.
That was the case for quarterback Sam Darnold in the Jets' Week 16 win over the Steelers, according to head coach Adam Gase.
Aside from a strip sack via one of the NFL's top edge rushers in T.J. Watt, Gase said the small details, particularity down the stretch by the quarterback, helped the Jets take the 16-10 upset victory.
"We knew that was the type of game that it was going to be. It was going to come down to those last drives in the game, it was going to be a tight game, and our guys did a great job in terms of executing that gameplan," Gase said on Monday. "I thought Sam did a great job of understanding, especially at the end of the game when there was about eight minutes left, of huddling, using the clock, finding a way to get first downs, just making sure all those little details were all right."
Gase added those Sunday successes started well before kickoff.
"(Darnold) played that game exactly the way we talked about when we met with our team. We talked about how we had to play that game, offense, defense and special teams. It was... outside of that one play... our guys executed what we wanted to do as a team. That was what really excited me. We took what we talked about on Wednesday, we practiced the right way, and then we went out and executed it," Gase said.
The Jets had another first half which saw the offense execute a strong opening drive to take an early lead. The second-year QB finished the contest 16-for-26 passing with a touchdown. On that opening drive, Darnold was 5-for-6 passing for 38 yards including his lone score, a 23-yard strike to wideout Robby Anderson.
For the man leading the charge, Darnold also used the word execution to describe what went right for the Jets.
On deck, the Jets will finish their 2019 season against the playoff-bound Bills. It's unclear yet if the Bills will play their starters in the game since Buffalo has nothing to gain or lose in the contest. Regardless, Darnold said his team has to use that momentum to continue executing in Western New York.
"They've got a really good defense, top defense in the NFL. We just have to come out and just continue to do our job and make sure we take advantage of some of the opportunities we get in the game," Darnold said. "We just have to go out there and execute the way we know how. "