Could the Jets Make the Playoffs?

After starting the season winning their first three games, the Jets struggled to a 4-6 record. Recently, however, they have won two straight giving them a 6-6 record and putting them right in the thick of the AFC playoff picture.

Division

Right now the Jets are only a game behind the first place Patriots, but it might as well be two. The Jets have finished division play with two wins, while the Patriots already have three. Since these teams split the season series, the Patriots win the tiebreaker with those three wins. So even though the Jets have only one less win than the 7-5 Patriots, they need to do more than tie them to take the division. With four games left in the season, it does not appear the Jets have much hope to take the AFC East.

Wild Card

This route seems much more likely. Looking at the teams in the AFC, the ones that look like they are competing with the Jets for the two spots are: The Dolphins, Ravens, Steelers, Jaguars, and Broncos. None of these teams have more than six losses, and only two of them have as many as six, with the Broncos having as little as four. Knowing this, it appears unlikely a 9-7 record will be good enough to make the playoffs, so the seven-loss Texans and Titans seem out of luck.

Returning our focus to the Jets, this means they have to win out their remaining four games. Those games are against the Bucs, Falcons, Colts and Bengals. The first two are winnable, while the last two are games against teams that might have their playoff spots rapped up. The Jets have done a nice job limiting Sanchez’s mistakes, and if they can continue to do that while getting production from their running game, a 10-6 record is not out of the question.

So to answer the question posed in the title of this article: yes, the Jets could make the playoffs. The point, however, is that it isn’t incredibly likely. As I mention earlier there are five other teams in the mix and i think more than two of them are more likely to make the playoffs than the Jets, with the Jets needing some luck just to go 10-6.

Ranking the six teams in order of likeliness to make the playoffs: Broncos, Ravens, Jaguars, Jets, Steelers, Dolphins. The Broncos would need to lose three of their next four for them to miss the playoffs, something I don’t see happening. After tonight the Ravens only have one other tough games, against a Steelers team that has lost four straight, including one to the Ravens. I give the Jags the nod over the Jets because they own the tiebreaker due to their head to head win, so they’d have to drop two of the next four, with the Jets winning out.

In the end there is hope for the Jets, but so much would have to go right that is seems more likely they finish 9-7 or 8-8 and miss the playoffs.

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