In what may have been Bill Belichick's final game as the head coach of the New England Patriots and Matthew Slater's last time suiting up as the leader of the special teams, the Jets single-handedly dominated in Gillette Stadium.
The weather surely played a significant factor in how the day transpired, but it was a lackluster performance from the offense led by Bailey Zappe and an infuriating sendoff to potentially two Patriots greats.
Despite the disappointment from another loss, ending the year with a 4-13 record, there is a silver lining to look forward to; the loss secures a top-3 draft pick for the Patriots for the first time since 1993.
A prime draft pick means a franchise-changing player is on the horizon for the Patriots
Disregarding the other storylines surrounding today's game, the most significant part of it is the chance for the team to draft a top quarterback who could change the franchise's trajectory as soon as next season. Mac Jones was supposed to be that guy, and unfortunately, that's not how it panned out.
Now that they have ensured themselves a top-3 pick, currently sitting with the second and could move to the third depending on the result of the Commanders/Cowboys game, they will likely have their choice of Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, Michael Penix Jr., or Caleb Williams. You could even throw in Marvin Harrison Jr. as a possibility, as well.
Any of those players could be what catapults New England back into the sphere of relevancy, getting them out of the slump of mediocrity they've been in since Tom Brady left after the 2019 season.
The question now becomes who would be the best selection, no matter if they end up with the second or third pick? They'll have their options, that's for sure, but who is the best fit? And who is projected to have the best transition from college to the pros?
There's a lot for the team to consider, whoever is the general manager or the head coach next season. But it's an exciting time to be a fan, as this is the most drastic of changes since before Belichick's hiring.
There will be a lot to pay attention to this offseason, making the bittersweet ending to this season more palpable.