NY Jets chances of making playoffs in 2020 just increased dramatically
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets fell short of the postseason in 2019, but expected NFL rule changes have dramatically improved their chances of making the playoffs in 2020.
The NY Jets are in the midst of one of the worst playoff droughts in franchise history. But with the new NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement set to be agreed to in the coming days, one rule change could help end their dreadful streak.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday that the NFL is expected to add a seventh playoff team in each conference. This would be the first time that the league’s playoff structure would be altered since the 2002 realignment and the first time it will expand since 1990.
This is significant for the entire NFL, but it’s especially significant for teams who just missed out on the playoffs last season. And while it may not seem like it, the Jets were one of those teams.
Gang Green may have started 1-7, but they finished with a 7-9 record which would have been just one game back of the Pittsburgh Steelers who would have held the seventh seed at 8-8.
Even crazier is the fact that the Jets had the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh because of their Week 16 head-to-head victory. That means that all the Jets would have had to do was win any other game last season and they technically would have qualified in this hypothetical scenario.
That just goes to show the potential impact that this rule change could have.
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Only two teams are in the middle of longer playoff droughts than the Jets. The Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t made the postseason in over a decade while the Jets are going on nine straight years without a playoff appearance.
Of course, this possible change will make many Jets fans reflect on what could have been in the 2015 season. The Jets infamously finished 10-6 but failed to make the playoffs due to a heartbreaking Week 17 loss.
If this playoff format was in place, the Jets would have already clinched going into that week.
Perhaps this rule change will prevent anything like that from happening to the Jets or any other team again. Either way, it’s clear that the Jets will now have a better shot of making the postseason in 2020 and beyond.
First things first, however, putting together a roster that could feasibly compete in a top-heavy AFC remains paramount.