NY Jets: Mental mistake helps team control destiny

By Michael Pallas

The NY Jets are finally in control of their playoff destiny. Win and they’re in via a Wild Card berth.

Thanks to a win by the Baltimore Ravens and a rare mental mistake by the New England Patriots, if the Jets go into Buffalo and win, they are in the NFL Playoffs. Slater made a mistake calling for the Patriots to kick after winning the overtime opening coin toss.  Consequently, the Jets drove down the field and scored a touchdown, ending the game to the tune of 26-20.

As a Jets fan, I know the painful history this team has endured.  It would be very Jets-like to play up to the talent of New England, and then lose to a struggling Bills team.

They need to control the sloppy mistakes that cost them in the last game.  They were -4 in the turnover battle, and somehow only came away with a three-point loss.  The Bills didn’t win the game, the Jets gave it away.

All the NFL Playoff scenarios are easy:

The Jets get in as long as they don’t choke (by choke I mean lose in any fashion) against the Bills.  A win or a tie, and they earn the final Wild Card spot.

If they lose to a team for the second time they have no business losing to, then they will need either the Denver Broncos to lose to the Cincinnati Bengals AND the San Diego Chargers or the Pittsburgh Steelers to lose in Cleveland next week.

The Bengals still have something to play for too.  They’re playing for the AFC’s #1 seed.  Make no mistake about it, they will continue to do their best to ride momentum into the playoffs.

If the Jets beat the Bills, they will be a tough out.  Ryan Fitzpatrick and the passing game are dangerous, if they can find a way for him to calm down a little on the deep throws.  Chris Ivory is a run threat and Bilal Powell has become a dangerous dual-threat.

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Powell has emerged in the last three games.  While the work is limited, he is averaging 7.3 yards per carry, 7.8 yards per reception out of the backfield and had two total touchdowns.  Of course, their defense will keep them in games.

The Jets hit a wall after a good start, but they have found their stride, just in the nick of time (Santa pun intentional).  If they can avoid the turnovers, they will beat the Bills and ride a six-game winning streak straight into the playoffs.  Talk about a great way to end the regular season and enter the postseason with that mentality still set.  There is no telling how far this team can go playing like they have been.