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Which NFL games this weekend could impact the Patriots’ draft position?

Patriots fans are rooting for Bryce Young and the 1-11 Panthers to end a five-game skid on Sunday against the Saints.Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

Despite their Thursday night win over the Steelers, the Patriots (3-10) remain in position for the second overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, trailing Carolina (1-11) by 1½ games.

With the race for the first overall pick starting to come into sharper focus, here’s a look at five games — and the status of two other teams in the mix — that will impact the Patriots come draft weekend.

Arizona (3-10): Bye. The Patriots have a slight edge over the Cardinals for the second overall pick. Arizona and New England each have four games left, and three of the four opponents for each have records of .500 or better.


Washington (4-9): Bye. The Commanders, whose only win since mid-October came at the expense of the Patriots, have four games left, three against teams over .500. In position for the fourth overall pick, a 4-13 finish could see them finish with the third choice.

Carolina (1-11, pick owned by Chicago) at New Orleans (5-7), Sunday, 1 p.m.: Patriots fans still angling for the No. 1 pick are rooting for the Panthers to snap a five-game skid.

Detroit (9-3) at Chicago (4-8), Sunday, 1 p.m.: The Bears, who have won two of their last three, hold the cards when it comes to the draft. They not only own the Panthers’ pick, which is looking like it will be in the top two, they also sit No. 5 overall with their own selection. Add in the uncertain future of Justin Fields — which will dictate whether they go quarterback with either first-round choice — and it’s easy to see why the rest of the league thinks the Bears’ decisions will cause a ripple effect through the top of the first round.

Houston (7-5) at New York Jets (4-8), Sunday, 1 p.m.: When it comes to crashing the top three, the reeling Jets — currently at No. 6 — are a dark horse. New York has lost five in a row and is facing more quarterback uncertainty heading into this weekend. In addition, the Jets are playing one of the more talented young teams in the league in the Texans, one of three games left against teams .500 or better. Ultimately, the Jets-Patriots regular-season finale in Foxborough on Jan. 7 could have sizable draft implications.


Tennessee (4-8) at Miami (9-3), Monday, 8:15 p.m.: The Titans would appear to be an odd choice to be included, but given the state of their roster and their schedule down the stretch — all five of their remaining games are against teams .500 or better — Tennessee could be careening toward a top-three pick. A win over Miami would likely remove the Titans as a rival for the Patriots when it comes to the top three.

Green Bay (6-6) at New York Giants (4-8), Monday, 8:15 p.m.: The Giants, who currently hold the seventh overall pick, might be the hottest team in the NFL’s bottom 10. New York, which has won two in a row and three of their last six, have apparently been energized by quarterback Tommy DeVito, who has led wins over New England and Washington. A win over the Packers would likely end any chances the Giants would have when it comes to crashing the top five.

Christopher Price can be reached at christopher.price@globe.com. Follow him @cpriceglobe.