the jaws of death, defeat, etc.

the jaws of (something)

Something, especially something unpleasant or undesirable, that very nearly comes to pass. Used especially after "snatch from." The drowning fishermen were snatched from the jaws of death by a passing cruise ship. They were down by nearly 20 points with less than half of the last quarter remaining, but through sheer skill and perseverance they managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
See also: jaw, of

the jaws of ˈdeath, deˈfeat, etc.

(literary) used to describe an unpleasant situation that almost happens: The team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
See also: jaw, of