Unfortunately, with the way the NFL postseason format is set-up, every once in a while a deserving team misses out on the postseason. This season, that unfortunate team may be the New York Jets.
At 9-5 after Week 15 of the season, the Jets are currently on the outside looking in on the postseason seedings. With the defending champion New England Patriots (12-2) continuing to dominate the East division, and the Kansas City Chiefs (9-5) and Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) playing great football, the Jets are sitting at No. 7 in a six-team playoff format.
All the Steelers will need to do is win the remaining two games, against under-achieving Baltimore and Cleveland, and they solidify its place amongst the playoff teams. As for Kansas City––currently riding an eight-game winning streak after starting the season at 1-5––all they, too, need to do is win their final two games against Cleveland and Oakland.
These three squads could all finish 11-5, and yet the Jets would be sitting on the outside looking in due to tiebreak scenarios between the trio of teams. It’s unfortunate, but not even a Week 16 upset of the Patriots could save the Jets’ if the other two teams take care of business.
Here’s how the Jets can make the postseason as a Wild Card team:
*Beat the Patriots (Week 16) and Bills (Week 17) AND get one loss from either the Steelers or Chiefs.
*Beat the Patriots (Week 16) and Bills (Week 17) AND get a loss from Denver.
If they can pull off an upset of New England this weekend and finish off the Bills the following week, all they would need is one loss from either of those two teams. The kicker here, though, is that Kansas City is on fire (eight straight wins) and both teams have relatively easy remaining schedules. Not to mention that match-up with New England will be a blood-bath.
But there’s another layer: If the Chiefs win both games, and Denver loses one of their two remaining games (Bengals and Chargers), the Chiefs would win the AFC West and the Broncos would be stuck competing with Pittsburgh and New York for a Wild Card spot. And, guess what? The Jets would hold the WC tiebreaker over Denver.
So, there’s still hope for the Jets. I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much if I were a Jets fan, however. They have a tendency of letting its fan base down.
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