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NFL Football and Teams Tanking. Is it Myth or Fact?

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As the NFL season ends, there is a race to the bottom for some.

Prior to the 2020 season, the NFL added an additional playoff spot per conference. The expectation was that this would allow for a more exciting finish to the season with more teams alive for the postseason later in the season. While that hasn’t been much the case this season (though there will be seasons it will be), the end of the year has the wrong kind of excitement as well; a race to the bottom.

To the surprise of many, and to the dismay of Jets fans, the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes are now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. While it seems the Jets let their fans down again, is tanking really a solution?

In 2017, there was talk of the Jets tanking for Sam Darnold. The Jets finished the season, in what seemed an out of reach of viable draft position to get Darnold, but were able to trade up to acquire who was deemed the ‘guy’ at that point.

Three seasons later, and the Jets fans are now disappointed for losing a chance at Trevor Lawrence. While Lawrence grades higher (but not much) than Darnold as a draft prospect, is there significant reason to believe that the Jets will handle another prospect just three years after their fail with Darnold?

Prior to the 2012 draft, consensus top overall pick Andrew Luck was believed as tank worthy. The Indianapolis Colts, only two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance, got Luck thanks to a season-ending injury to Peyton Manning.

Luck joined a more talented team, with a better roster and coaching, and never reached the Super Bowl. Injuries did derail Luck’s career, and there was some success. Less than seven years later, Luck has retired.

Yes, injuries played a part in Luck never reaching the ultimate goal, but in the NFL injuries happen. The Colts were and still are a much more stable organization than the Jets.

Lawrence may prove me wrong, and further add to the Jets misery, certainly a possibility. The Jets do have a quarterback that was considered tank worthy three years ago, and everything the Jets would need to do to make the Lawrence investment pay off, they would need to do for Darnold as well. That’s where the Jet’s focus needs to be.

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