NFL

Breaking down Jets/Jaguars NFL Draft tiebreaker: Winning the no. 1 pick

The New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars are embroiled in a battle of the ages over the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. But what happens if the Jets and Jaguars tie? Pro Football Network is here to explain all the intricacies of a potential Jets and Jaguars NFL Draft tiebreaker scenario.

How the Jets end with No. 1 pick

This is the simplest scenario. The New York Jets end up with the number one pick if they lose out. The Jaguars already have one win, so if the Jets simply lose every game the rest of the season, ensuring an 0-16 finish, they have the No. 1 overall pick.

The Jets also clinch the No. 1 pick if the Jaguars win out. If the Jaguars win every single game for the rest of the season, the Jets would be unable to catch them, even if they also won out.

To put it simply, the Jets end up with the No. 1 pick, and most likely Trevor Lawrence, so long as they don’t win more games than the Jaguars the rest of the season. If the Jets win just one more game than the Jaguars, then it’ll fall to a tiebreaker.

How the Jaguars end with No. 1 pick

For the Jaguars to wind up with the No. 1 pick outright, they need to win two fewer games than the Jets. A tough task considering the Jets’ remaining schedule: The Jets would need to beat at least two teams out of the Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland Browns, and New England Patriots. Those teams have a combined record of 31-17, as of this writing.

Instead, the Jaguars are hoping that the Jets win just one more game than they do. Their best bet is to lose out and hope that the Jets beat the Patriots in their Week 17 matchup. That would force the Jets and Jaguars into a tiebreaker for the No. 1 pick. That plays right into the Jaguars’ hands.

Breaking down the Jets / Jaguars NFL Draft tiebreaker

This where things get complicated. If the Jets and Jaguars end up tied, the first tiebreaker would be their strength of schedule. The team with the easier schedule would get the first pick. Right now, that would appear to be the Jaguars. According to Tankathon, the Jets’ final strength of schedule is .599, by far the toughest schedule in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Jaguars’ strength of schedule is .547, which is tied for the third most difficult schedule in the NFL.

So, the Jaguars have a clear advantage in the strength of schedule. However, things like that change every week. Depending on results from around the league, the Jets and Jaguars’ strength of schedule will change. The issue for the Jets is that their schedule has become so difficult that it’s nearly impossible for the Jaguars to catch them. It would take nearly perfect circumstances for it to happen.

Related: Updated 2021 NFL Draft Order and Tiebreaking Procedures

In the ridiculous event that the Jets and Jaguars end up with the same strength of schedule, the odds of this are astronomical; it would go to a conference record tiebreaker. If the Jets’ one win comes against one of the two NFC teams on their schedule, then they would then be awarded the No. 1 pick. If their one win comes against an AFC opponent, then their battle with the Jaguars for the No. 1 pick would go to a third tiebreaker.

That third tiebreaker is their respective records in common games, so long as the two teams have at least four common opponents. The Jets and Jaguars’ four common opponents are the Colts, Browns, Dolphins, and Chargers. Currently, the Jaguars have one win against those opponents, while the Jets have none. That could change if the Jets get their one AFC win against the Browns instead of the Patriots. That would lead to a fourth tiebreaker.

The last tiebreaker is their respective strength of victory. In this scenario, that would mean the Jets’ victory against the Browns and the Jaguars’ victory over the Colts. The issue here is that if the Colts win out and the Browns go 3-1 to finish, they would have the same record.

In the event that this is also a tie, the winner would be decided based on point differential; worst gets the top pick. The Jets are currently 72 points worse than the Jaguars, making them the heavy favorite to win this NFL Draft tiebreaker.

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