I’m just as surprised as you are, quite frankly.
The Jets need to win on Monday night, and they need to win all of their remaining games to even be in the mix.
With a win against the Tennessee Titans on Monday, the Jets would move to 7-7 on the year, the same record as the Steelers. The Cincinnati Bengals are currently in control of the final playoff spot with an 8-6 record.
The Bengals and Steelers play each other in Week 16, in a game that would see the Steelers eliminated with a loss. The problem for the Jets is that they lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Steelers back in Week 2.
If it’s just the Jets and Steelers at 9-7, (meaning Cincinnati loses their last two games to finish 8-8), Pittsburgh would get the playoff berth. The Bengals control their own destiny. 10 wins gets them in, no matter what.
For the Jets to claim the sixth and final playoff spot, tiebreakers need to fall in their favor. They have to finish 9-7, and if the Bengals and Steelers also finish 9-7, the Jets would likely get in due to a superior conference record.
I believe that the Jets might also win the tiebreaker battle if Cincinnati finishes with the same record as them, regardless of what the Steelers do, but I am not certain on that.
The last scenario that favors the Jets is if the Indianapolis Colts lose their remaining games to finish 9-7, and the Jets win out to finish 9-7. In that case, the Jets won the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Colts.
So to recap, the Jets are still alive in the AFC playoff chase, but they need help. They have to win out, most importantly, and they have to hope that they win a tiebreaker battle in order to grab a wild card berth.
Hey, this is the NFL we’re talking about. Stranger things have happened.