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NFL New York Jets

New York Jets’ Playoff Chances Improve Significantly During Bye Week

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

The New York Jets finally had their bye week in Week 10, and they took advantage of the time to get healthy, rested and ready for a playoff run. The Jets are 5-4, and they were sitting in the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC heading into Week 10. The Jets were keeping a close eye on their fellow Wild Card contenders, and they have to be very pleased with the results they received.

The Baltimore Ravens were the only AFC Wild Card contender that won this week, with the Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers all losing (the Cleveland Browns were also on a bye). That leaves the Jets at 5-4, with all five of their competitors for the final playoff spot one game behind them at 4-5.

It is likely that the top 5 spots in the AFC will hold, meaning that there will be a heated race for the No. 6 seed that will likely go down to the final week of the season. The Jets are now lucky enough to control their own destiny, which is a huge advantage. The Jets have been extremely inconsistent this season, but if they can settle down and get on a win streak, they should make the playoffs.

Having a one game lead on their opponents is also important because of the Jets’ remaining schedule. They play the Dolphins twice and the Ravens and Browns once each over the final seven weeks, and all four of those games should have huge playoff implications. The Titans just lost Jake Locker for the rest of the season, and the Chargers have an extremely difficult schedule that includes two games against the Kansas City Chiefs and one against the Denver Broncos. That means that the Wild Card spot could come down the Jets, Ravens, Browns and Dolphins, and all four teams will have the chance to play their way in.

All any team can ask for is an opportunity to earn their shot at the playoffs, and that is exactly what the Jets have. No one would have though that we would be talking about the Jets as the leader for the final Wild Card spot in Week 11, but here we are. The Jets have to get more consistency in their play, and they need to continue to rely on their defense and run game. If they can mix that with some continued improvement from Geno Smith, there is no reason the Jets can’t beat out their competition for a spot in the postseason. The Jets have a huge opportunity in front of them now, and time will tell if they can take advantage of it.

Greg Sulik is a New York Jets writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GregSulik or add him to your network on Google