The New England Patriots celebrated a victory on Thursday Night Football, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road with a final score of 21-18. But even though the win improves the team’s record to 3-10 on the year, it did not have an impact on its standing near the top of the 2024 NFL Draft order.
With the Patriots now 13 games into their 17-game regular season, they remain in possession of the second overall selection.
What did change, however, is that their previous cushion against the Arizona Cardinals is now gone. With both teams beating the Steelers in back-to-back weeks, they now find themselves with identical 3-10 records.
As a look at the current draft standings shows, New England only stays ahead at the moment due to its inferior strength of schedule:
With the win tonight, the Patriots still are in position for the 2nd overall pick thanks to the SOS tiebreaker. Arizona has a bye this week. pic.twitter.com/avq3QBQxyt— Alex Barth (@RealAlexBarth) December 8, 2023
The Patriots and Cardinals, who are in a close race for the No. 2 selection in next year’s draft, will play four games each down the stretch — most of them coming against rather talented opposition.
The Patriots will play the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15, followed by games against the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. The Cardinals, on the other hand, will play the San Francisco 49ers when they return from their bye week, and then go up against the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks.
The No. 1 position in the draft still belongs to the Chicago Bears, who acquired the Carolina Panthers’ selection via trade last offseason. Through the 1-11 Panthers, who recently fired their head coach, the Bears continue to have the clear inside track to end up as the team picking first come April.