Los Angeles Chargers (6-6)
Chargers remaining schedule: vs. Miami Dolphins, vs. Tennessee Titans, @ Indianapolis Colts, vs. Los Angeles Rams, @ Denver Broncos
This is likely the team that the Jets will have to keep their eyes on the most. Even if three out of the four previous teams make the playoffs, there is one spot that is up for grabs.
The negative for the Jets here is that the Chargers close the season out with three seemingly winnable games. The positive for the Chargers is that the team has a history of blowing games and two out of those three matchups are on the road.
If the Jets get into a tie-breaker situation with the Chargers, conference standings would come into play so New York will need Los Angeles to drop some games to the AFC teams that play. Meaning a win over the cross-town rival Rams will be less significant than a win over the Colts the previous week in terms of a potential tie-breaker.
As of right now, the Chargers are 4-4 within the AFC so slightly behind the Jets.
If the Jets and the Chargers end up tying, the following procedure will be next in line to determine who makes it of the two teams: Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
The Chargers have losses to the Jaguars and the Seahawks this season, making those upcoming matchups for the Jets even more significant.
If the Jets can find a way to get to nine or ten wins prior to their Week 18 matchup against the Dolphins they could be in a situation where the opponents' outcomes matter just as much as their own.
While dropping games against the Patriots and now Vikings was frustrating for a team with newfound expectations, being in the playoff hunt in this type of way is what every fan was dreaming of for the past number of years.
Now is the time to embrace the chaos and see what this team and coaching staff are really made of when the pressure is on, this stretch to end the season will give the organization situations that they haven't faced in many years when it comes to playing for something meaningful.