The New York Jets Playoff Rooting Guide – Week 15

Joe Caporoso reviews the New York Jets playoff rooting guide heading into week 15 of the NFL season

The New York Jets handled their business against the Tennessee Titans with a 30-8 victory. Unfortunately, they did not receive much, if any, help from the teams they are competing with for a wild card spot. However, all is not lost with the team currently sitting at 8-5. Let’s break down where your attention needs to be on Sunday, with the Jets hopefully…hopefully taking care of Dallas on Saturday night.

The AFC Standings

  1. New England 11-2
  2. Cincinnati 10-3
  3.  Denver 10-3
  4. Indianapolis 6-7
  5. Kansas City 8-5
  6. NY Jets 8-5
  7. Pittsburgh 8-5

Don’t Be Deceived By: The Jets currently being ahead of Pittsburgh, they do not control their own destiny as of now. If both Pittsburgh and the Jets won out, they would have the same conference record (by way of the Jets having 2 AFC games left and Pittsburgh having 3) and the tie breaker would default to common opponents, which Pittsburgh wins).

Interestingly enough, if the Jets lose to Dallas and Pittsburgh loses to Denver, the Jets would control their playoff destiny and be in if they win their final two games. Not an ideal situation but worth pointing out.

Four Teams Matter From A Jets Perspective: Pittsburgh. Kansas City. Denver. Cincinnati.

Cincinnati: The only way the Bengals play into the Jets situation is if they lose out and the Jets win out. Cincinnati finishes with San Francisco, Denver and Baltimore. So despite AJ McCarron starting the rest of the season…still not very likely. There is no tie breaker here, the Jets just need to finish with a better record than the Bengals.

Denver: The Osweilers looked vulnerable against Oakland last week and suddenly face back to back tough match-ups in Pittsburgh and hosting the Bengals, before finishing with the Chargers. If they lose 2 of their final 3 and the Jets win out…the Jets are in. If they lose all 3 and the Jets finish 10-6…the Jets are in.

Pittsburgh: If the Steelers lose a game, most notably on Sunday against Denver (considering their final two are at Baltimore and Cleveland), the Jets control their own destiny. They would be in if they won out. If the Jets finish 10-6, the only way they are getting a tie breaker with Pittsburgh is if they lose to Dallas but win their last two.

Kansas City: The Jets aren’t winning any tie breakers with Kansas City, so they need them to lose a game and win out themselves. Kansas City plays the Ravens and Chargers before finishing with the Raiders, their most likely chance at a loss.

So what is the Jets most likely path?

  • Winning out and Pittsburgh losing to Denver
  • Winning out and Denver losing to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati
  • Winning out and Kansas City losing to Oakland
  • Losing to Dallas, Pittsburgh losing to Denver and then beating New England and Buffalo
  • Losing to New England, winning the other two and Denver losing out

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Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports