I can’t believe what I am about to say.
The New York Jets—yes, the same team that played the most embarrassing game I have ever witness on Thanksgiving night—have a legitimate shot to make the playoffs.
Before you start laughing and stop reading, let me clarify something. I don’t believe (and I pray I am right) the Jets will make the playoffs, I am just stating a fact based on strength of schedule of the contending wild card teams.
Of the teams still alive in the wild card race, the Jets currently trail the Colts, Steelers, and Bengals. The Bengals and Steelers are both 7-6, one game ahead of the Jets who sit at 6-7. Now, I know both of those teams have way more talent than the Jets this year and have played much better football, I get that, but stay with me.
Take a quick look at those three team’s remaining schedules:
Steelers: @Dallas (7-6), Cincinnati (7-6), Cleveland (5-8)
Bengals: @Philadelphia (4-9), @Pittsburgh (7-6), Baltimore (9-4)
Jets: @Tennessee (4-9), San Diego (5-8), @Buffalo (5-8)
With those remaining schedules, it appears possible that the Jets could win out (putting them at 9-7) and force either the Steelers or Bengals to do the same. Seeing as the Bengals and Steelers have one game head-to-head, someone will have at least 1 loss.
Now, if I had to make a prediction I would say that whoever wins the Bengals @ Steelers game will find a way to win all three of their remaining games and get in as the final wild card. However, if that is not the case, things could get real interesting if the Jets win out.
With all that being said, that is a big IF. Expecting this Mark Sanchez led, debacle of an offense, soap opera of a Jets team to end the season on a 5 game winning streak and find the playoffs would be nothing short of a Christmas miracle (sorry, “Holidays miracle” just doesn’t seem to fit).
I have to believe that somehow, someway, somewhere, the Jets will find a way to implode. Especially if they fall behind and are forced to start throwing the ball again. Their last two wins have been very ugly and have been extremely dependent on their running game, as they should be all the time. If their defense has an off day though, I don’t see Sanchez being able to bring the Jets from behind, by throwing the ball, after this season he has had so far.
I just find it incredible that any of this is even a possibility after watching this shell of a “team” all year. In the end, let’s just hope, for all the fans sake that the scenario mentioned above doesn’t happen. I mean, you thought the amount Jets coverage in the regular season was bad? I don’t even want to find out what it would be like should they somehow grab the final wild card spot.
Follow Cole Stevenson on Twitter: @Cole_Stevenson