The New York Jets challenged the Buffalo Bills, covered a double-digit spread and remained on top of the projected 2020 NFL draft order in Week 7.
Adam Gase's team is still the lone winless squad in the NFL, and with that title comes the chance to land Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick. The Jets have not cleared the competition for the top selection since six teams possess one victory, but they could remain on track to land there if they lose to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8.
The New York Giants, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars all lost in Week 7 to drop to 1-6 and remain one game ahead of the Jets. The Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings could also challenge the Jets for the league's worst record.
For now, it appears that the No. 1 pick is the Jets' to lose, and it should be that way until at least Thanksgiving Day.
Updated 2021 NFL Draft Order
1. New York Jets
2. New York Giants
5. Miami (from Houston)
10. Los Angeles Chargers
11. New England
15. Las Vegas
17. San Francisco
18, New Orleans
21. Jacksonville (from Los Angeles Rams)
23. Tampa Bay
26. New York Jets (from Seattle)
30. Kansas City
31. Green Bay
The Jets' most competitive game of the 2020 campaign did not ruin its chances to land Lawrence.
If you are a Jets fan, that has to be the ideal situation if you believe the franchise is due for an overhaul at head coach and quarterback.
New York limited Buffalo to six field goals despite allowing 26 first downs, 422 total yards and 5.9 yards per play. It was not the perfect defensive outing, but the Jets deserve credit for putting Josh Allen under duress and keeping their AFC East rival out of the end zone.
The argument to start fresh could gain steam if Sam Darnold continues to struggle in however many games Gase has left as head coach. New York is 7-16 in Gase's tenure. Darnold produced his lowest passing yard total of 2020, as he went 12-of-23 for 120 yards and threw two interceptions.
The numbers could get worse before they get better, with the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots on the docket for Weeks 8 and 9. Kansas City is expected to enter Sunday's clash at Arrowhead Stadium as a larger favorite than the Bills were (10 points) heading into MetLife Stadium.
The Jets could be inclined to part ways with Gase during the Week 10 bye, which precedes a matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. However, if the Jets have held on to Gase after seven straight disappointing performances in 2020, they may stick with him for a while.
If New York does not spring an upset in its next three contests, its best chance to win a game could come against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12, but even saying that is a stretch since Brian Flores' side shut out the Jets in Week 6.
The bad news for the other struggling teams is none of them can earn a direct advantage over the Jets for the No. 1 overall pick by losing to them.
If the one-loss teams continue to struggle, there are a few games that could sort out the top five picks.
The New York Giants visit the Bengals in Week 12, and Cincinnati plays Houston in Week 16. The Texans' first-round pick will go to the Miami Dolphins.
The Atlanta Falcons do not play any one-win franchises, but they face a brutal finish with two games against the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as clashes with the Las Vegas Raiders, Kansas City and the Chargers from Week 11 on.
Jacksonville already lost to Cincinnati and Houston and plays its second matchup with the Texans in Week 9 following its bye week. At 1-5, Minnesota could drop into the mix for the No. 1 pick if it falls in three straight NFC North games out of its bye.
Until the Jets win a game, the collection of one-loss teams could be stuck fighting for silver in the race to land Lawrence at No. 1.