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Trevor Lawrence race: Rooting guide for New York Jets’ strength of schedule tiebreaker

Trevor Lawrence, Adam Gase, Doug Marrone
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

As many New York Jets fans root for their team to secure the top overall selection in the 2021 Draft, strength of schedule will be crucial.

With the team’s playoff hopes squashed long ago, a large portion of the Jets fanbase has turned its attention to the 2021 NFL Draft, hoping to see the Jets make this nightmare of a season worthwhile by clinching the right to select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick.

Unfortunately for Jets fans, there is no guarantee that the team’s historically awful start will result in the ultimate prize of Lawrence’s services. The 1-7 Jacksonville Jaguars are breathing down the Jets’ necks, entering Week 10 with seven straight losses, a remaining schedule that features seven teams with a winning record, and a banged-up starting quarterback.

This past Monday night was a crucial chapter in the Lawrence race. Facing their most favorable matchup left on the schedule, the Jets somehow managed to blow a 10-point fourth-quarter lead to the hapless Patriots, falling to 0-9 and maintaining a comfortable lead over Jacksonville.

The primary reason that many Jets fans were up in arms about potentially winning on Monday night was the fact that, as things currently stand, the Jets would lose a potential tiebreaker with the Jaguars for the top pick.

Ties for draft slots are broken by strength schedule (SOS) – the combined record of all 16 opponents (intra-division teams are counted twice) on each team’s schedule. The team with the softer schedule would take the higher pick.

Entering Week 10, the Jets’ 16 opponents have a combined win percentage of .591, highest in the NFL, while the Jaguars sit a few ticks lower at .554, fourth-highest in the league.

For Jets fans to truly feel comfortable about their team’s chances of acquiring one of the greatest quarterback prospects in league history, they need to see the Jets claim the SOS edge over the Jaguars.

Excluding games featuring the Jets and Jaguars themselves, there are 62 games over the final eight weeks that will have implications on the SOS battle between New York and Jacksonville.

With the schedules of both teams in mind, here are the outcomes that would help the Jets gain an edge over the Jaguars in the SOS race.

*- The most important games are marked with an asterisk. The outcomes of these games (assuming they are not ties) will represent a tilt of at least two games in either New York or Jacksonville’s favor.

Week 10

  • Titans over Colts
  • Lions over Washington
  • Texans over Browns*
  • Chargers over Dolphins
  • Cardinals over Bills
  • Saints over 49ers
  • Ravens over Patriots*

Week 11

  • Bengals over Washington
  • Texans over Patriots* (largest possible impact: 2 games in each direction)
  • Lions over Panthers
  • Titans over Ravens
  • Vikings over Cowboys
  • Buccaneers over Rams

Week 12

  • Texans over Lions
  • Cardinals over Patriots
  • Vikings over Panthers
  • Titans over Colts
  • Bengals over Giants
  • Chargers over Bills*
  • Falcons over Raiders
  • Saints over Broncos
  • Buccaneers over Chiefs
  • Eagles over Seahawks

Week 13

  • Ravens over Cowboys
  • Titans over Browns*
  • Steelers over Washington
  • Bengals over Dolphins*
  • Texans over Colts
  • Giants over Seahawks
  • Chargers over Patriots*
  • Packers over Eagles
  • 49ers over Bills

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Week 14

  • Rams over Patriots
  • Vikings over Buccaneers
  • Giants over Cardinals
  • Bengals over Cowboys
  • Texans over Bears
  • Panthers over Broncos
  • Colts over Raiders*
  • Washington over 49ers
  • Steelers over Bills*
  • Ravens over Browns

Week 15

  • Chargers over Raiders
  • Washington over Seahawks
  • Dolphins over Patriots
  • Eagles over Cardinals
  • Saints over Chiefs
  • Texans over Colts
  • Cowboys over 49ers
  • Titans over Lions
  • Packers over Panthers
  • Broncos over Bills

Week 16

  • Vikings over Saints
  • Falcons over Chiefs
  • Texans over Bengals
  • Ravens over Giants
  • Titans over Packers
  • Chargers over Broncos
  • Lions over Buccaneers

Week 17

  • Chargers over Chiefs
  • Steelers over Browns
  • Dolphins over Bills

Happy tanking! (Chart below was updated following the conclusion of Week 12.)

Strength of Schedule Trevor Lawrence New York Jets Rooting Guide

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Dark Demonik
3 years ago

The factor missing here is the Jags also have more major weapons than we do they can win another game again. Robinson is having a ROY type year and i believe he went undrafted. They have 2-3 legit WRs as well. The Jags have a chance against the Browns, Vikings *if Cook is not playing* and they sure as heck have a greater chance against the Bears that can’t put an offense together good enough. The Packers game i don’t see the Jags winning but the Packers have that history of losing to lowly teams. If Josh Rosen can go to Green Bay with the worst team in the NFL that year in the Cardinals im not giving up hope for a Jags win i think they can win 1-2 more games.

But the Jets i don’t worry about because that defense can’t hold for more than 2 Qs…. The Raiders game worries me and the Patriot game worries me. Its a good thing the Jets travel so much back to back west coast trip that sounds burial. Im a hardcore Jets fan i would like to see them go 0-16 fan so i can say i been there for them through thick and thin and the worst times of the team history. I already been through 1-15 with Rich Kottie’s Jets why not a 0-16….