NY Jets: Team must keep offense going to make NFL Playoffs
The offense of the NY Jets must continue to click on all cylinders if they are to make the NFL Playoffs this season.
The Jets improved their hope of making the playoffs with a big win in overtime against the New York Giants. The offense showed signs of life and the defense showed some vulnerability, but that’s okay. I am going to focus on the play of the offense for this particular moment.
Going into the Giants game, the Jets’ hope for a berth in the playoffs hopes were getting slim, because of their recent performances within their division and conference. Also, their offense wasn’t performing up to its potential, given the position they were put in.
Going into the game, the Jets’ offense was fourth in the NFL in average starting position for their drives, with an average start at a little behind their own 31 yard line. However, when it came to scoring and ball movement, it was lax.
Their scoring was middle of the pack at two points per drive (14th), and their movement was 29th in the league at 28.32 yards per drive while only maintaining possession for an average of 2:29 per drive (27th).
Chart courtesy of footballoutsiders.com (prior to this week’s action)
It was much different in the game against the Giants, though. They actually didn’t have great field position at all. While they scored around their season’s per drive average (2 pts.), they started (on average) at their own 20 with an average time of possession of 3:11. That was :42 higher than their season average going into the game.
It doesn’t hurt that, going into this game, the Giants were giving up the second-most yards per drive in the league (37.57). Also, the Giants had given up the ninth most points per drive at 2.12.
Some people are going to question Tom Coughlin’s choice to go for it on 4th down at the Jets’ four yard line. Even given this information, in the long-run, going for it was the correct decision.
The Jets hadn’t moved the ball all day, and as shown before, they hadn’t shown the ability to move the ball all season. So Coughlin was correct to expect his team to be able to stop this Jets team. The Giants just didn’t execute.
Jets not only have hope for the playoffs, but due to New England’s latest slide, they could still win the division. The loss of the Patriots to the Eagles leaves the Jets three games behind in the division and in the thick of the Wild Card race.
When it comes to making the playoffs, the Jets control their own destiny. If they continue to win, they’re in. For the AFC East however, they need the Patriots to lose every game, and they would subsequently need to win out. With the injuries to major players it’s not out of the realm of possibility, but it’s still highly unlikely.
The AFC Playoff Picture looks like this:
Byes1. Cincinnati Bengals (AFC North; 10-2)2. Denver Broncos (AFC West; 10-2), head to head tie breaker over New England
Matchups6. New York Jets (Wild Card) @ 3. New England Patriots (AFC East)5. Kansas City Chiefs (Wild Card) @ 4. Indianapolis Colts (AFC South)
Next: Calvin Pryor developing into quite the leader for the Jets
The Jets will need to keep winning down the stretch. The have winnable games in Dallas and Buffalo and home against Tennessee next week. With that being said, they can’t keep squandering good field position if they want to get into the playoffs.
Most people thought they had a playoff-caliber defense at the beginning of the season. Now, their offense needs to step up to make the final push so everything comes together when it matters most.