Jets' Rooting Guide for 2021 NFL Draft Implications of Week 16December 24, 2021
Jets' Rooting Guide for 2021 NFL Draft Implications of Week 16
The New York Jets' 2022 NFL draft status will be clearer after Week 16.
Sunday's slate features a handful of games that should create a bit of separation in the projected top 10.
The Jets play in one of those contests against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who took over the No. 1 overall pick after Week 15. Jacksonville did not respond to Urban Meyer's firing with a win and did not improve much against the Houston Texans.
That is a good sign for Jets fans wanting to see a fourth win and a bad omen for the ones that want as high of a draft pick as possible.
A win over the Jaguars might put the Jets level with the Chicago Bears and New York Giants on four wins.
If the Jets win, they need one or both of those teams to bring home victories to remain in the top four without much to do with tiebreakers.
A Jets loss to the Jaguars opens up another realm of possibilities. They would need a Detroit Lions beat the Atlanta Falcons to force a four-way tie at three wins in that situation, although the Lions would have a higher winning percentage because of its tie.
With how poorly the Bears and Giants played recently, it may be better for the Jets' draft stock to lose and root for the Lions.
Lions over Falcons
The most realistic rooting scenario for the Jets' draft hopes is for the Detroit Lions to beat the Atlanta Falcons.
It seems crazy to type that after how much the Lions struggled in the first three months of the season, but Dan Campbell's side has not given up. The Lions just beat the Arizona Cardinals, so there is a reason to believe they can go into Mercedes-Benz Stadium to beat a staggering Falcons teams.
Atlanta is far off the NFC wild-card race and it will be hard for it to attain a top-five pick with six wins. The Falcons are essentially sitting in no man's land in the standings with not much to play for.
Detroit proved in Week 15 that it can reel off another win or two before the end of the season.
Jared Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown have formed a great connection, and the Lions' top two running backs returned to practice, per ESPN's Eric Woodyard.
A Lions' win combined with a Jets loss would be the ideal situation for New York's shot at the No. 1 pick.
That scenario is only in play if the Jets lose to the Jaguars, which does not seem likely, but if the Lions can beat the Cardinals, anything can happen.
Giants over Eagles
Here we are again, Jets fans.
For what feels like the umpteenth week in a row, they are stuck rooting for the New York Giants to win a football game.
That rooting strategy has not been successful since Week 12, when the Giants knocked off the Philadelphia Eagles at home.
Joe Judge's team is in worse shape entering its second clash with the Eagles. Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm are the team's quarterback options with Daniel Jones shut down for the season.
Philadelphia is coming off the high of a win over the Washington Football Team and is alive for one of the three NFC wild-card spots.
The Eagles' short rest from a Tuesday game is the only positive the Giants have going in their favor at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Jets need the Giants to win at least one more game to avoid finishing with the same win tally. That is needed with the assumption that the Jets beat the Jaguars on Sunday.
The Jets should want to be the first New York team to pick in April, and that is more possible if the Giants pick up their fifth victory.
Bears over Seahawks
Some Jets fans could view the Chicago-Seattle game as a matchup between two New York proxy teams.
The Bears are sending their first-round pick to the Giants, and the Jets own Seattle's first-round selection.
Chicago is 4-10 and Seattle is 5-9, so you know where we are going with this. The Jets need the Bears to beat the Seahawks to hopefully move the second Giants pick down a few spots.
Matt Nagy's team showed little signs of life offensively Monday, and that is concerning for the Jets receiving an ounce of help from the NFC North side. The Bears have one victory since Week 6, but they could pick up two wins in a row if they play much better.
Chicago takes on the Seahawks on Sunday and then hosts the New York Giants in Week 17, which means one of the Giants' picks will move down the projected order.
If the Jets want to own the New York draft spotlight, they should root for the Bears to win on Sunday for the Giants to beat them next week so that both franchises have at least five victories.