After a thrilling victory for the New York Jets over the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta on Monday Night Football (30-28), the Jets are now 3-2. With a weak AFC this year, can the Jets actually contend for a wild card spot?
Oh my god, Jets and playoffs used in the same sentence? Is the world ending?
Well, even with a 3-2 record, the Jets still have some major flaws that will eventually cost them this year. While rookie quarterback Geno Smith took a major step forward against the Falcons by not only leading them down the field with less then two minutes left in the game, setting up the game winning Nick Folk field goal, he also went the entire game without a single turnover. This is the first time he has ever done so in his very young career, and the rest of the Jets’ offense will be their Achilles heal.
Without Santonio Holmes in the lineup, and actually even with Holmes in the lineup, the Jets lack the depth at wide receiver to help them compete for a playoff spot this season. Another major weakness I have noticed with the Jets is their secondary. This was obviously expected after the Jets parted ways with the best cornerback in the league, Darrelle Revis, but in Atlanta, it really showed. While the Falcons did not win the game, they exposed the Jets’ weak secondary with their vertical passing game and as a result, then made Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan cater to the pass, leaving his run defense exposed. I believe teams around the league will see this and continue to expose what the Falcons started.
Now, the AFC is very weak this year, but regardless, the Jets still would need a lot to happen in their favor in order to make the playoffs. As of right now, it looks as if the Kansas City Chiefs are a lock for the top wildcard spot, and the Tennessee Titans (who just dismantled the Jets last week, and because of that have the tiebreaker over the Jets if both teams were to finish in a tie at the end of this season) would be the second and final wild card team coming out of the AFC.
So, can the Jets and playoffs actually be used in the same sentence for this season? Not quite. With the Jets’ weaknesses on both sides of the ball, I believe Gang Green would need many breaks to go their way in order to play football in January.