After three-fourths of the New York Jets season, they sit with a 7-5 record, probably a game or two off the pace most people had projected them to be on. They are in a dogfight for a wild-card spot with Cincinnati, Tennessee, Oakland, and Denver. Despite all the disappointments so far this season, the opportunity to become a playoff team is right in front of them.
The negatives? This remains an inconsistent team with some personnel and coaching issues that won’t be going away. The positives? They still have an ability to rise up in a big spot and win close games. This team could lose to anybody left on their schedule, just as easily as they can beat them.
Speaking of the schedule, the games will get progressively harder over the next three weeks. It starts out with a home game against the Tyler Palko led Kansas City Chiefs. Similar to the Redskins today, the Chiefs have a strong defense but very poor quarterback play (even poorer than Washington). The Jets will have the benefit of being in MetLife Stadium where they are 5-1 this year. After the Chiefs, comes the failed Dream Team of Philadelphia on the road. I don’t care what Philly’s record is or how pathetic they have looked lately, they have a ton of talent and that is a tough place to play. After the Eagles, comes the Giants who will be fighting for their playoff lives and will be overloaded with bulletin board material from Rex Ryan. If the Jets are alive heading into week 17, Miami is playing as well as any team in the AFC right now despite being 4-8.
It won’t be an easy road. 2 out of 4 won’t cut it. 3 out of 4 makes it a toss up for a playoff spot. 4 of 4 will get the Jets in, nevermind the momentum of heading into the playoffs with a 6 game winning streak.
What has been odd about the past couple of weeks is that the Jets have preached all week about treating each of these games like the playoffs, yet they keep coming out flat. They aren’t turning on the switch until they absolutely have to. That might fly against Buffalo, Washington and maybe even Kansas City this week, but you can’t expect the Jets to beat Philadelphia, the Giants, or even Miami like that.
Everything has been in spurts the past two weeks. Flashes of big plays in the passing game. Flashes of the running game. Flashes of a very good defense The Jets need to move towards putting together a complete game or they won’t be able to string together another 4 wins this regular season.