Sunday, the New York Jets made a statement win about the status of their rebuild. In a 16-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that came into Week 16 with legitimate playoff ambitions, the Jets showed that there is a future under their current direction.
But the win was costly as the Jets dropped in the first round order of next spring’s NFL Draft.
The Jets now hold the tenth pick in the first round of April’s NFL Draft after Week 16 saw their record improve to 6-10. And they could potentially plummet even more, especially if they pull off an upset this weekend at the Buffalo Bills.
The Jets have won five of their last seven games to go from being talked about as a potential top pick destination to now slipping down the first round. And while head coach Adam Gase and general manager Joe Douglas are likely pleased to see the team’s improvement during this 5-2 stretch, the winning does have consequences (even if the tradeoff is momentum heading into the offseason).
And while the Bills, at 10-5, are playoff bound, the Jets have knocked off teams with winning records this year such as the Dallas Cowboys, the Oakland Raiders and last week’s win over the Steelers. So a win isn’t necessarily out of the question.
Last week, the Jets went into the Steelers game off a 42-21 loss at the Baltimore Ravens. The loss saw them rise to No. 7 in the NFL Draft. The Week 16 win saw them tumble those three slots and another win this weekend at their divisional rival would almost surely see them drop out of the top 10 of the first round entirely.
In this past draft, teams at 7-9 (which the Jets would be with a win), picked between No. 13 – No. 16. The Green Packers, at 6-9-1, went at No. 12.