What the NY Jets need to happen to make the playoffs in 2022

James Wudi
NY Jets, Robert Saleh
NY Jets, Robert Saleh / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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After a tough, heartbreaking loss in Minnesota, where do things stand with the 7-5 NY Jets and their hopes to end the longest playoff drought in the NFL?

The good news is that almost every team in the race also lost this week. The New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and Los Angeles Chargers all fell while the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals won a couple of nail-biters.

Will the Jets make the playoffs this year? If you've read my piece on this year's Jets and last year's Bengals, you already know my answer is yes.

If you're looking at this tough loss and looking ahead to the tough road game in front of Bills Mafia this Sunday and not feeling good about a 7-6 team making the playoffs then please familiarize yourself with that Bengals team again.

Last year's Bengals were 7-6 after 13 games played and finished the season 3-1 for a 10-7 record (and AFC North Division Title). They rode a hot streak all the way to the Super Bowl and barely lost to a team that is currently in shambles.

With games against the Lions, Jaguars, Seahawks, and Dolphins, the Jets too can go 3-1 and finish with a 10-7 record. Based on the strength of the AFC East right now, that probably won't win the division, so is 10-7 enough in this year's playoff race? Let's take a look.


Division Leaders

This is pretty simple — all four division leaders automatically make the playoffs regardless of record. This is great news for the 7-5 Tennessee Titans, who have a four-game lead over the Colts (4-8-1) in their division but wouldn't be in first place if they were in any other division of the AFC. It's safe to assume they are in.

The Kanas City Chiefs (9-3) are sitting pretty with a three-game lead over the 6-6 Chargers, so it's pretty safe to assume that they too will hold onto their division crown this season.

The next two divisions are where things get complicated/interesting. The Bengals and Ravens are 8-4 with the rest of their division being 5-7. While things can still play out, we are going to assume that either the Bengals or Ravens will retain their three-game lead over the others and one of those two will win the AFC North crown.

Last, but certainly not least, is the most competitive division of the conference, the AFC East. All four teams, the Bills (9-3), Dolphins (8-4), Jets (7-5), and Patriots (6-6) are still very much alive and it's even still possible that any of these teams win their division. Assumptions here aren't that safe, so let's go to the next section.

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