How did the Patriots’ win over Steelers change their draft odds?

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Patriots

If the Patriots want to draft a potential franchise quarterback like Drake Maye, they’ll likely need a top-two pick.

The Patriots still have a chance of earning a top-three pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Danielle Parhizkaran/Globe Staff

The Patriots finally snapped their five-game losing streak on Thursday night with an upset win over the Steelers.

It was a much-needed response for a Patriots team that has been mired near the basement of the AFC for most of the 2023 season.

But for some Patriots fans, Thursday’s win on the road might have been a pyrrhic victory — especially for those who have kept their eyes glued to all things related to the 2024 NFL Draft.

If the 3-10 Patriots want to reassert themselves as one of the top powers in the AFC in the coming years, landing a prized QB prospect like Caleb Williams or Drake Maye could accelerate those plans in record time.

But for New England to land one of Williams or Maye, it will likely need to hold steady with at least a top-two pick going into the draft.

The Patriots leapfrogged the Cardinals and sat in the projected No. 2 spot after their loss to the Chargers on Sunday — coupled with Arizona’s own win over Pittsburgh that same day.

But will the Patriots’ third win of the season thwart their plans of drafting one of Williams or Maye?

At this point, the odds are not in their favor in terms of landing the No. 1 pick, with ESPN’s Seth Walder noting that the Bears (via the Panthers) now have an 86 percent chance of securing that first-overall selection following New England’s win on Thursday.

But even after beating the Steelers for their third win of the season, the Patriots are still expected to hold on with the projected No. 2 pick — at least for this week.

As noted by Tankathon, New England still holds a slight edge over Arizona, who is on tits bye week and thus can’t improve (or hamper) its record on Sunday.

Even though New England and Arizona both hold the same 3-10 record, the Patriots do have the advantage over them due to strength of schedule — with that metric serving as a tiebreaker to determine the draft order for teams with identical records.

The team with the weaker strength of schedule will hold the higher pick, with New England (.524) holding the edge over the Cardinals (.558). However, strength of schedule is dynamic and can change with each week, depending on the performances of each team faced this year over the final month of the 2023 season.

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