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Looking ahead

By Marc A. Greenberg

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?