With the season halfway over, and a BYE week upcoming, there’s no better time to look ahead to the final 8 games in an attempt to figure out how to make the playoffs. At 4-4, the Jets are on the outside looking in.
The Patriots at 5-2 lead the AFC East
The Broncos at 6-1 lead the AFC West
The Bengals and Steelers are 5-2 in the AFC North, and
The Colts are 7-0 in the AFC South
The Wild Card teams (2 make it to the Playoffs) are: Chargers and Ravens 4-3, Steelers or Bengals 5-2, Texans 5-3.
Let’s look at the Jets final 8 games
11/15/09 – Home to Jacksonville (3-4)
11/22/09 – At New England (5-2)
11/29/09 – Home to Carolina (3-4)
12/3/09 Thursday – At Buffalo (3-5)
12/13/09 – At Tampa Bay (0-7)
12/20/09 – Home to Atlanta (4-3)
12/27/09 – At Indianapolis (7-0)
1/3/10 – Home to Cincinnati (5-2)
Record of opponents is 27 – 27. A safe bet would be the Jets splitting the 8 and finishing 8-8. Wins against Jacksonville, Carolina, Buffalo, and Tampa Bay would achieve that. Throw in a win against either Atlanta or Cincy and the Jets finish at 9-7. Pretty respectable when you consider it is with a Rookie QB, no Kris Jenkins and no Leon Washington. Losses to Buffalo and Miami really hurt this team which could be 5-3 or 6-2.
So, does 8-8 get in ? It won’t win the division, but what about the Wild Card?
The Bengals or Steelers have to win 4 games to be 9-7.
The Steelers have the Broncos, Bengals, Chiefs (Win) , Ravens, Raiders (Win) , Browns (Win), Packers, Raiders Win), Dolphins. Basically, the Steelers need to win 1 out of 5 to make 10. Let’s give them the division.
The Bengals have the Ravens, Steelers, Raiders (Win), Browns (Win), Lions, Vikings, Chargers, Chiefs, at Jets. Looks like you can find 2 wins here. Bengals would need wins against Chiefs and Lions to get to 9-7. Jets fans should start rooting against the Bengals immediately. Week 17 could be a big one.
1 Wild Card left, Jets fans….
The Ravens at 4-3 have Bengals, Browns, Colts, Steelers, Packers, Lions, Bears, Steelers and Raiders. A tougher schedule here. Ravens could go 9-7.
The Texans at 5-3 have Colts, Titans, Colts, Jaguars, Seahawks, Rams, Dolphins, Patriots. 4 Wins is possible here. That would leave the Texans at 9-7.
The Chargers at 4-3 have Giants, Eagles, Broncos, Chiefs, Browns, Cowboys, Bengals, Titans, Redskins. First half is tough, second half is not. 9-7 here is realistic as well. Chargers will have to step up and beat either Giants, Eagles, Broncos or Cowboys to get to 10-6.
So, where does that leave the Jets?
The Answer: Have to beat both Atlanta and Cincy to get to 10-6 and have a chance to get in. Simple, eh?