NY Jets fans should keep a close eye on these games this week as the draft race heats up.
The NY Jets‘ season is already a lost cause. In reality, it’s been that way pretty much since Week 2, but it’s certainly the case now as the team enters Week 9 with an 0-8 record.
But as Jets fans know very well, just because your team isn’t making the playoffs doesn’t mean that you don’t have a rooting interest. And that’s perhaps never been truer than it is this year.
The Jets have their eyes set on the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. To secure that pick, all the team will have to do is lose out and finish 0-16.
In a normal year, that’s generally very improbable. But given their remaining schedule and the way that the Jets have played this season, it almost seems likely.
But on the off chance that the Jets win a game or even two, what will they need to do to land the top pick in next year’s draft? Which teams will they need to lose to offer extra security?
We take a look at a few games that should pique the interest of Jets fans this week.
NY Jets vs. New England Patriots (Monday Night Football)
Of course, as with every week, the Jets will need to handle business of their own and lose their scheduled game. But that’s even more important given that their Week 9 opponents could compete for the top pick as well.
The New England Patriots enter Monday’s game with a 2-5 record having lost their last four games. They haven’t thrown a touchdown pass in three weeks and have genuinely played like one of the worst teams in football.
It’s a stretch to insist that the Patriots could be bad enough to land the first overall pick, but losing to the winless Jets in Week 9 would certainly go a long way.
There’s no other way to say it, this is a must-lose game for Gang Green.
NY Jets fans should be rooting for the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 9
Aside from the Jets’ game, the most important matchup for the organization this week will be between fellow one-win AFC South opponents, the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Both teams enter with a 1-6 record, but one of these teams is clearly worse than the other.
The Texans may be 1-6, but they have talent on their roster. And most importantly, they have Deshaun Watson. They’re not going to finish the 2020 season with one or two wins, in all likelihood.
The Jaguars, on the other hand, will be starting a rookie sixth-round pick in Week 9 marking the third quarterback that they’ve played this season. If not for the Jets, the Jaguars might have the worst roster in the NFL.
And looking at their remaining schedule, it’s hard to find many — if any — more wins. Considering they’d have the tiebreaker in strength of schedule over the Jets, New York needs another Jacksonville win to give them some cushion.
The Texans are going to win again. The Jaguars might not. Jets fans should be all-in on the Jake Luton bandwagon in Week 9.
NY Jets fans should be rooting for the New York Giants in Week 9
The Texans/Jaguars matchup won’t be the only divisional battle between two lowly teams in Week 9 as the NY Giants will take on the Washington Football Team.
The Giants enter the game with a 1-7 record and are currently in-line for the second pick in the draft. Meanwhile, Washington is 2-5 with a loss to New York earlier in the year.
Both teams could be in play for the first overall pick, and thus, Trevor Lawrence. But right now, the Giants are the bigger threat.
They’ve been competitive in almost every game they’ve played, but continue to fall short. Jets fans should be hoping that their fortunes turn around and they sweep the season series against Washington this week.
A two-game cushion should be enough for Jets fans’ minds to be eased. And a Giants win would give both teams two wins on the season.
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Other games NY Jets fans should watch closely
Those are undoubtedly the most important games of the week, but it would be wise for Jets fans to keep an eye on a few other semi-significant matchups.
The 3-4 Detroit Lions will travel to Minnesota to take on a 2-5 Vikings team. The Vikings are fresh off a thrilling victory over the Green Bay Packers, but could be in play for Lawrence if they start losing again.
A victory over Detroit would all but take them out of the running, however.
The 2-6 Atlanta Falcons will also play host to the 3-4 Denver Broncos. The Falcons have won two of three games since Raheem Morris took over as the team’s interim head coach.
They could seal the deal with a victory over Denver in Week 9 which would give them three wins on the season effectively taking them out of the so-called “Tank for Trevor” race.
Finally, it’s not going to happen, but if the 2-6 Dallas Cowboys led by either Garrett Gilbert or Cooper Rush could somehow upset the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, that would surely be good news for Gang Green.
Don’t count on it, but if the game’s close, you might just want to tune in.
Most importantly, the Jets need to take care of business this week and lose. But if they could get some help around the league as well, it could make Week 9 a very successful week for Gang Green.