It certainly wasn’t pretty, but the New York Jets will take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day of the week.
The Jets offense only mustered 270 total yards on Sunday, but the defense was stout, and that was enough to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars by a final score of 17-10 at Jacksonville’s EverBank Field.
With their second straight victory, the Jets moved to 6-7 on the year, and amazingly enough, they find themselves just one game out of the AFC playoff picture with three games left in the regular season.
Say what you want about the turbulence that’s surrounded this team. Rex Ryan deserves a lot of credit for getting this injury-depleted roster of players to within shouting distance of a postseason berth this late in the season.
Week 14 was a tumultuous one for a few AFC playoff contenders. The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6), currently in sixth place in the AFC and in position for the final playoff berth, lost 34-24 to the San Diego Chargers (5-8).
Pittsburgh’s loss means that they weren’t able to make up any ground on the Baltimore Ravens (9-4), who lost as well. The Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) were unable to take advantage either, losing in the final seconds themselves.
Due to a tiebreaker with Pittsburgh, the Bengals are in seventh place in the conference. The Jets are currently in eighth place, needing to jump both AFC North teams in order to get the sixth and final playoff seed in the AFC.
Fortunately for the Jets, they face three teams with losing records in their final three games. That does include that suddenly loose Chargers team that spoiled the Steelers’ afternoon in Week 14, however. It’s far from automatic.
Also in the Jets’ favor is the fact that the Steelers and Bengals will play each other in Week 16, which bodes well from a tiebreaker standpoint, as a conference loss is on the line for the loser of that game.
First and foremost though, the Jets need to take care of their own business. They may not control their own destiny, but they do have the most favorable strength of schedule of any of the mediocre AFC Wild Card contenders.
One week, the Jets are a train wreck. The next, they’re fringe playoff contenders. Don’t blame me. Blame the AFC.