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A Look At The Jets Playoff Scenarios

Darrelle Revis (Getty Images) Revis will miss this game against the Giants. Jets will need Revis to shut down Cooper.

Darrelle Revis (Getty Images)


Now on a two game winning streak, the New York Jets find themselves right in the thick of things for a playoff spot. If the playoffs started today, the Jets would be in the postseason as the six seed and play the New England Patriots in the first round.

However, the six seed is not even guaranteed for the Jets because of the jam packed AFC Wild Card picture. As of right now, the Kansas City Chiefs have the five seed with a 7-5 record and the Pittsburg Steelers are the seven seed with a 7-5 record. The Chiefs hold the tie breaker over the Jets and Steelers because of their 6-2 conference record. And right behind those three teams are the 6-6 Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans. The Jets lost to both of those teams so they do not hold the tie breaker over either of them as of now. The Jets will play in Buffalo in the final week of the season so they do have the opportunity to split the season series. So given the playoff picture, here is what the Jets will need to do to come away with a playoff spot.

The Wild Card picture is too packed right now for me to think that nine wins is a safe bet for the Jets to get a spot. Ten wins should be enough, if they beat the right teams. The Jets remaining schedule is as follows – vs Titans, @ Cowboys, vs Patriots, @ Bills. Since conference record is used as a tiebreaker, the Titans game is far more important than the Cowboys game. If the Jets lose to the Titans at home, then they do not deserve to be a playoff team. It is a must win. The Cowboys game is not as important since they are an NFC team. However, the Cowboys are not a good team. If the Jets want to put themselves in a good position for ten wins, then they have to beat the Cowboys as well.

Outside of the Jets schedule, let’s take a look at the Chief’s schedule: vs Chargers, @ Ravens, vs Browns, and vs Raiders. The Chiefs have three home games and it is a pretty easy schedule for them. So it will be awfully tough to leap frog the Chiefs because of their schedule. And that is important to know because whichever team gets the five seed will most likely play the winner of the AFC South division. Between the Texans and Colts, I would sign up for that in a heartbeat compared to getting the six seed and having to play either the Broncos, Patriots, or Bengals in the first round. So it looks like the Jets best bet is to grab the six seed over Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh’s schedule on the other hand is much harder. And their schedule is: @ Bengals, vs Broncos, @ Ravens, and @ Browns. Three games are on the road and there is a very good chance that they go 2-2 or even 1-3. A 3-1 record from the Steelers would be surprising considering their opponents. So that leaves the Jets in good shape to beat the Steelers for the last Wild Card Spot.

But there are still two more teams to worry about and that is the Bills and Texans who are both 6-6. The Texans best shot at the playoffs is through the division and I do not think the Texans or Colts are good enough to make the playoffs if they do not win the division. So here is Buffalo’s remaining schedule: @ Eagles, @ Redskins, vs Cowboys, vs Jets. On paper those are easy games but keep in mind that those three NFC East teams are fighting for their playoff lives as well so those will not be easy games, especially the two road games. So if the Bills go 2-1 in that three game stretch, that leaves them with an 8-7 record going into the Jets game in week 17. So the scenario is simple: for the Jets to come away with the final Wild Card spot, they must beat the Titans, Cowboys, and either the Patriots or the Bills. If the Jets beat New England in week 16, then they will clinch a playoff spot. If they lose to the Patriots, then it will be a winner take all game in week 17 in Buffalo.

Here is another scenario, if the Jets lose this week to the Titans, the Jets must win out to make the playoffs. The same goes if they lose to the Cowboys the following week. But it will be very difficult to beat the Patriots and Bills in back to back weeks, especially since the Bills game will be in Buffalo. The best bet is to beat the Titans and Cowboys, and then beat either the Patriots or Bills. Ironically enough, the road to the playoffs for the Jets will require beating either Rex Ryan or Bill Belichick.

And also just as a note, if the Jets and Chiefs win out, the Jets will get the six seed because of tiebreaker rules. So for the Jets to get the five seed, they will have to leap frog the Chiefs, which might require winning out and hoping the Chiefs go 3-1. Kansas City just might win out because of their weak schedule.

It will be very interesting to see how Todd Bowles handles all of this in his first year as a head coach in the NFL. It will not be easy, but it is more than possible.

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