It's that time of year again. Yes, many NY Jets fans have set their sights on the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft and are calculating the ways their favorite team could improve their draft odds over the following five weeks of the season.
After all, what else is there to do for a 4-8 team that's lost five games in a row while playing the likes of Zach Wilson, Tim Boyle, and Trevor Siemian at quarterback? This is all we have.
Fortunately for Jets fans rooting for the "tank," Gang Green was helped out by an upset victory on Thursday Night Football. The New England Patriots managed to pull off the upset against the previously 7-5 Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, and that could be massive news for the Jets.
The Patriots, now 3-10, seemed like a near-lock to finish with a top-two pick in the upcoming draft, which essentially solidifies their chances at landing either USC quarterback Caleb Williams or North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye.
Their victory on Thursday night, however, could alter those plans. It also opens the door for the Jets to possibly finish with a top-two pick if a few things go their way.
The Patriots' upset win on TNF helps the NY Jets' draft outlook
The Jets are currently slated to have the No. 6 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, per Tankathon. At 4-8, the Jets have the strength of schedule tiebreaker over both the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans but not over the Chicago Bears (slated to pick fifth overall).
That said, the Jets do have the S.O.S. tiebreaker over every other team ahead of them at the moment. Yes, that includes the now-three-win Patriots. And since the Jets and Patriots play each other in the final week of the season, the Jets essentially control their own draft destiny.
If the Jets were to lose their remaining five games (which would amount to a dreadful 10-game losing streak), they would finish with a 4-13 record and put themselves in contention for a top-two pick.
A Patriots win over the Jets in Week 18 could give the Jets a higher draft pick, depending on how the S.O.S. tiebreaker shakes out. The only other team currently with three wins is the Arizona Cardinals, and it seems likely that they manage to win at least one more game over the final five weeks.
In fact, the Cardinals play the four-win Chicago Bears in two weeks, meaning that one of the five teams currently picking ahead of the Jets has to win another game, barring an unlikely tie.
While the Jets are unlikely to catch up to the Carolina Panthers (pick owned by the Bears) for the No. 1 overall pick, it's very feasible that they could surpass the Patriots, Cardinals, Washington Commanders, and Bears if they lose out.
That would give the Jets an opportunity to draft one of the top quarterbacks in this year's class or, more likely, draft down for an absolute haul of assets.
It isn't fun to root for your favorite team to lose, but the Jets have a clear path to a top-two pick in this year's draft following their rival's upset win on Thursday night. The Jets control their draft destiny.