Last Sunday afternoon, the New York Jets defeated the Los Angeles Rams 23-20, securing the first win of the season and moving them out of position to land college football's top quarterback. One day later, a tweet from President Donald Trump surfaced that focused on the NFL franchise "tanking." However, this particular message actually hailed from 2014.
"The Jets should have let them score to get the number one draft pick, who will be really good. It will just never change for them!" the tweet read. Some people responded and said that this was the first thing the president said that "wasn't utterly ridiculous" since election day. Others, however, noticed the timestamp and just laughed about how history repeats itself. In the words of Matthew McConaughey in True Detective, "time is a flat circle" and the Jets are repeating the mistakes of years past.
The victory on Sunday became a sticking point for many fans of Gang Green due to its impact on the 2021 NFL Draft. The Jets were previously winless and in sole possession of the No. 1 overall pick, meaning that Clemson Tigers star Trevor Lawrence was well within reach. However, defeating the Rams meant that the Jets fell to the second overall pick. The Jaguars, on the other hand, landed in the first position and became the potential landing spot for Lawrence.
In 2014, a similar situation arose. The Jets were 2-11 entering a December battle with the similarly woebegone 2-11 Titans. Losing the game would drop the Jets to 2-12 and keep them in position for the top draft pick, which is what the future president in Trump hoped to see. The Jets won a 16-11 game and fell behind the Titans in the standings, ultimately finishing the year 4-12.
Once the 2015 NFL Draft arrived, the Jets sat at sixth overall. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the first pick, which they used on former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. The Tennessee Titans were second and used the pick on former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. The Jets then missed out on a talented pass rusher in Dante Fowler (Jacksonville Jaguars), a wide receiver in Amari Cooper (then-Oakland Raiders), and a top offensive lineman in Brandon Scherff (then-Washington Redskins). The Jets ultimately selected Leonard "Big Cat" Williams, a defensive lineman that they traded to the New York Giants after the 2018 season.
There are still two games remaining in the season, meaning that the Jets could regain the top draft pick. However, this outcome is not certain. Many fans believe that the team completely made a mistake by defeating the Rams and missed out on a "can't miss" quarterback prospect.