NY Jets survive 20-point meltdown and lose key draft position with Week 16 win

The Jets won...but at what cost?
NY Jets, Israel Abanikanda
NY Jets, Israel Abanikanda / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

The NY Jets sideline erupted with joy when Greg Zuerlein's 54-yard field goal split the uprights to secure his team their sixth win of the season. In doing so, Zuerlein helped prevent what would've been one of the most embarrassing losses of Robert Saleh's tenure with the Jets.

That kick also happened to cost the Jets some key draft positioning in what is ultimately a meaningless win in the grand scheme of things.

The Jets took a 27-10 lead into the half, as Gang Green looked to be on the verge of a Christmas Eve blowout. But a quarterback change by Washington helped spur on a second-half comeback that nearly resulted in a monumental Jets loss.

Instead, Trevor Siemian and the Jets improve to 6-9 on the season. They survived a 20-point blown lead against one of the worst teams in football. The emotional impact is undoubtedly important, but it's hard not to feel like a major opportunity was missed.

The NY Jets lost out on key draft position in Week 16

The Jets had a chance to improve their draft position to as high as the No. 4 pick entering Sunday's game. A loss to the Commanders would not only give Washington an additional win, but it would catapult the Jets into top-five consideration.

Unfortunately, a win could prove to be much more costly. The Jets now hold the ninth pick in the draft, per Tankathon, with a chance to drop even further if the Las Vegas Raiders win this week.

Sure, Saleh and the Jets survived what would've been a disastrous loss. That's a positive sign for a coaching staff that was just confirmed to be returning in 2024. But the ramifications of this win will be significant.

Nonetheless, the Jets found a way to win in time for the holidays. While that win may negatively impact the future of the organization, the players and coaching staff won't complain.