Schedule Makers Give Jets Early Christmas Gift
The New York Jets season has been inconsistent and maddening, but still could be destined for a final destination in the postseason for a third straight year. The biggest reason isn’t a stout defense, great offense, or opportunistic special teams. Rex Ryan’s team might crash the playoff party because of a very favorable schedule down the stretch.
A look at the AFC standings shows the Jets currently in 8th place, one game behind the 6th and final seed (the upstart 7-4 Bengals) in the playoff picture. Their 5-5 conference record (a major tie breaker) gives them a leg up on Tennessee (6-5 overall, 4-4 in conference). Their two head-to-head wins over Buffalo virtually guarantee they finish ahead of their division rival. Aside from Cincinnati, they are looking up at the Tim Tebow led Broncos by virtue of their head-to-head loss in Denver a few weeks ago.
How can New York jump the teams ahead of them to make it into the postseason for the third straight season? By taking advantage of a seemingly easy schedule to run the table and get to 11 wins. Here are the Jets opponents for the remainder of the regular season:
Week 13 @ Washington: It will be Rex vs. Rex on Sunday in Landover, MD. If Ryan’s defense can’t shut down Grossman’s offense it won’t matter what the standings look like.
Week 14 vs. Kansas City: The Chiefs stink out loud, are in the midst of switching to a quarterback they acquired this week, and have been outscored by their opponents by 112 points this season.
Week 15 @ Philadelphia: All that Eagles talent has gotten them four wins in eleven tries so far this season. If the Jets don’t feel like winning this game, Philadelphia surely will find a way to lose it.
Week 16 vs. New York Giants: As of the moment, New York is the only team left on the schedule with a winning record. That could change quickly, though. Losers of three straight, winds of a third straight second half collapse and coaching change rumors are floating around the Giant locker room. It’s hard to tell what kind of state they’ll be in on Christmas Eve.
Week 17 @ Miami: All things considered, this might be the most difficult game left for the Jets to win. A division rivalry game, on the road, against a team playing much better than their record? No picnic for a Jets team that will almost certainly need the game to make the playoffs. Plus, doesn’t it always seem like the underdog wins in this rivalry?
Do I believe New York is a postseason team? Probably not. If they fail to go at least 10-6, if not run the table at 11-5, their inability to beat teams they should will be to blame.