Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts after the Jets lost to the Chargers, 14-7, on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
Perhaps the Jets can have the best of both worlds.
They were competitive enough to earn an outside shot at a playoff spot in early December. And now, there’s a slim chance they can snag a top-five pick in April’s draft.
Call it an unintentional tank. (Hey, at least there’s something positive about losing eight out of the last 10 games.)
If the season ended today, the 5-10 Jets would have the eighth overall pick. But they could jump up to as high as No. 5 if everything swings their way.
The Jets would have to lose to the Patriots (easy enough). Then the Buccaneers (4-11) would have to beat the Saints and the Broncos (5-11) would have to beat the Chiefs. Then, if the 49ers (5-11) beat the Rams, the Jets would have to win the tiebreaker (strength of schedule) to get the No. 5 pick.
But if the Jets somehow stun the Patriots, there’s a chance they could fall as low as 11th, depending on how things play out.
Of course, it’s highly unlikely everything will break the Jets’ way or that everything will break against them. They’ll probably lose Sunday and pick sixth or seventh. But there’s always a chance.
Here are the full odds, from ESPN.com, of where the Jets are most likely to pick: fifth overall: 8 percent; sixth overall: 30 percent; seventh overall: 39 percent; eighth overall: 16 percent; ninth overall: 1 percent; 10th overall 3 percent; 11th overall 2 percent.
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Belichick raves about Jets
You wouldn’t know the Jets are struggling by talking to Bill Belichick.
The legendary Patriots coach raved about the Jets on Wednesday morning in his conference call, launching into an opening statement about the team that lasted several minutes.
He praised quarterback Bryce Petty as “impressive.” (He’s 36-for-76 this season for 312 yards, three interceptions and a touchdown.) He said new kick and punt returner JoJo Natson has given the Jets “some explosiveness in the return game.” (Natson is averaging 21.6 yards on kickoff returns and 2.4 yards on punt returns.)
Belichick is likely pumping up the Jets to his players because there’s a lot on the line in Sunday’s game for the Patriots. A win secures home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
While Belichick was loquacious describing the Jets, he was less revealing about the acquisition of new linebacker James Harrison, who signed Tuesday after being cut by the Steelers.
When asked about the mindset behind the signing, Belichick replied: “Right. Yeah. We signed him yesterday.”
But why did they sign him, and what does he bring?
“We’ll see,” Belichick said. “I don’t know. We haven’t practiced with him yet. Get out there this week and see how it goes. I’m not really sure how it’s going to go.”
Jets right guard Brian Winters has been placed on injured reserve and is done for the season. Winters had been dealing with an abdominal injury since Week 2. Jets coach Todd Bowles said Wednesday that Winters hadn’t practiced, but that the Jets were unwilling to rule him, or anyone else out of Sunday’s game. Less than two hours later the Jets announced Winters was done for the year.
The Jets had a lengthy list of players on the injury report Wednesday. Receiver Robby Anderson (illness), cornerback Morris Claiborne (foot), running back Matt Forte (knee), receiver Jermaine Kearse (ankle), tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ribs, foot), right tackle Brandon Shell (concussion), and defensive end Leonard Williams (back) all did not practice. All are starters. Outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins was limited in practice with ankle and shoulder injuries.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (achilles and left shoulder) didn’t practice Wednesday for the Patriots, but he’s expected to play on Sunday. Former Ramapo High School football player Chris Hogan, who missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury, was a limited participant in practice.