The New York Jets squandered a very good opportunity during Week 11. A win over the 3-7 Bills, coupled with a loss by the New England Patriots, would’ve put the Jets one game back of their arch rival in the division with 6 to play. Instead, the Jets didn’t take care of their business and were routed by the Bills. It was a horrible performance by a team that now finds itself faced with the daunting task of beating the defending Super Bowl Champion Ravens on the road. Let’s take a look at the AFC Playoff Picture heading into Week 12.
Current AFC Seeding
1. Denver Broncos, 9-1
Next Game: @ Patriots
Last Game: WIN vs Chiefs
Analysis: The Broncos handled business against the Chiefs, as their 4th ranked run defense was able to stop Jamaal Charles. The win moved the Broncos to the #1 seed in the AFC and one step closer to home field advantage in the AFC playoffs.
Glass Half Full: Aqib Talib can’t cover everybody, so while he is able to handle Demaryus Thomas, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas feast on the Patriots secondary and manning beats Brady in Foxborough for only the 3rd time in his career.
Glass Half Empty: Brady is 6-2 against Manning in Foxborough, and this trend continues. Talib covers Julius Thomas, McCourty covers Demaryus, and Peyton is never really comfortable on his right ankle as the cold causes it to stiffen up. Peyton sees alot of Chandler Jones this week, and the Patriots bounce back from their Monday night loss.
2. New England Patriots, 7-3
Next Game: vs Denver
Last Week: Loss @ Carolina
Analysis: The Patriots lost to the upstart Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football, after what seemed like pass interference would be called on Luke Kuechly. The refs picked the flag up and, after confirming the interception by the Panthers, the ball game was over. Now, Brady welcomes Peyton Manning to Foxborough for a matchup with the Denver Broncos.
Glass Half Full: The Patriots are able to move the ball through the air against Denver and let’s face it; the Patriots were robbed on Monday night. No help from the refs is needed this time, as Ridley, Vereen, and Gronk are too much for the Broncos defense.
Glass Half Empty: Charles Johnson got to Brady repeatedly. Von Miller and Shaun Phillips do the same, as Brady never looks comfortable, and the Patriots defense is shredded by Peyton, Welker, Decker, and the Thomas Twins.
3. Indianapolis Colts, 7-3
Next Game: @ Arizona
Last Week: WIN vs Tennessee
Analysis: The Colts bounced back from the shellacking at the hands of the Rams by coming back to beat the Titans on the road 30-27. The Colts have struggled over the last two weeks without Reggie Wayne, and Donald Brown has supplanted Trent Richardson as the lead back in Pep Hamilton’s offense. They now travel to Arizona to play a really good defense in Arizona, who is currently tied with San Francisco for 2nd in the NFC West and the 6th seed in the NFC.
Glass Half Full: The Colts have Andrew Luck, and the Cardinals have Carson Palmer. That alone swings the game in the Colts favor as Luck is able to connect with TY Hilton (my fantasy team thanks you) multiple times en route to a rout of the Cardinals.
Glass Half Empty: The Colts offensive line can’t protect Andrew Luck from the Cardinals’ Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett, and Larry Fitzgerald is able to dominate whoever is lined up across from him as Andre Ellington and the Cardinals improve to 7-3.
4. Cincinnati Bengals, 6-4
Next Game: BYE
Last Game: WIN vs Cleveland
Analysis: The Bengals snapped a two game losing streak, and rallied after an Andy Dalton pick six by Joe Haden, to beat the Browns in a key divisional matchup. They now enter the bye week with a 2.5 game lead in the division.
5. Kansas City Chiefs, 9-1
Next Game: vs San Diego
Last Week: Loss @ Denver
Analysis: The Chiefs traveled to Denver and were soundly beaten by the Denver Broncos. What’s concerning for Kansas City was how inept their defensive line looked against the Broncos offensive line as Peyton Manning wasn’t sacked. They now return home to take on the Chargers before welcoming in Denver in Week 13.
Glass Half Full: Phillip Rivers is not Peyton Manning, and Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are able to get to Phillip repeatedly and the Chiefs bounce back to move to 10-1.
Glass Half Empty: Phillip Rivers may not be Peyton Manning, but he’s had a nice bounce back season and his offensive line is able to keep him clean enough for him to find Keenan Allen repeatedly, and the Chiefs, looking ahead to their matchup against Denver, come out flat and lose at home.
6. New York Jets, 5-5
Last Week: LOSS @ Bills
Next Game: @ Ravens
Analysis: The Jets continued their W-L-W-L trend by losing to the Bills as Geno Smith continued his regression over the last three games. The loss was hard to stomach as is, but the Jets saw themselves blow a goldenb opportunity when New England loss. Now, two games back with 6 to play they travel to M&T Bank Stadium to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens.
Glass Half Full: The Jets are able to bounce back from the loss to Buffalo (the Jets are undefeated after losses this year). Geno Smith plays a game for the ages against a desperate Ravens defense, and Stephen Hill emerges from a milk carton to play a really good gaem as the Jets improve to 6-5.
Glass Half Empty: The Jets offensive line can’t keep Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, and the rest of the Ravens front 7 away from Geno Smith. Geno is benched at halftime for Matt Simms, who receives a similar beat down, and the Jets drop to 5-6 and out of the 6th seed in the playoffs as Baltimore would be the 6th seed due to the head to head tie breaker.
Position entering week 12: 6th Seed
Projected Position after Week 12: if they win, 6th: if they lose (and MIA, OAK, TEN, PIT, CLE, and SD all win) as low as 14th
Most Important Games to Watch:
Panthers @ Dolphins: A Dolphins win coupled with a Jets loss puts the Dolphins in the 6th seed in the AFC.
Steelers @ Browns: A win by either team coupled with a Jets loss creates a tie for the 6th seed in the AFC. if Pittsburgh wins, they are the 6th seed because they hold the tiebreaker over the Jets based off the head to head record.
Chargers @ Chiefs: A Chargers win coupled with a Jets loss creates a tie for the 6th seed in the AFC.
Titans @ Raiders: A win by either team coupled with a Jets loss creates a tie for the 6th seed in the AFC. If the Titans win, they are the 6th seed because they hold the tiebreaker over the Jets based off the head to head record.
Broncos @ Patriots: a Patriots loss coupled with a Jets win puts the Jets one game back from the Patriots in the division with 5 games to play.