Brace yourself, New York Jets fans.
After their 45-19 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Jets are still somehow in the playoffs and in control of their own fate. With two games remaining (Giants, at Miami), the ride will be bumpy and most likely, nauseating.
Tonight, the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3) will be in San Francisco to take on the 49ers (10-3), with AFC Playoff implications on the line. A win by the Steelers and they will probably win their division with remaining games against St. Louis and at Cleveland.
That means that the Baltimore Ravens, also 10-3, will have to settle for the 1st wild card spot, and, with no incentive for the division, could decide to rest their starters in their Week 17 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals (8-6), the team most likely to challenge the Jets for the 2nd and final wild card spot. A Steelers loss tonight and both them and the Ravens will play hard the rest of the way to win their division.
The Bengals finish the season with Arizona followed by Baltimore. A much tougher schedule if Baltimore needs to win. A Pittsburgh wins tonight, though, could change everything.
That’s not what the Jets need, especially given their track record for doing things the hard way.
In other words: Go Niners.