The New York Jets went into yesterday’s clash with the Buffalo Bills wanting a win to gain further control over the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC. Unfortunately, the Jets failed to show up for the game at all, and they were handed a 37-14 loss that knocked them back into the back into the pack of AFC playoff contenders.
However, the Jets were lucky enough to see most their closest competition for the final Wild Card spot lose as well, and the Jets still are in pole position for the No. 6 seed. The Jets hold the tiebreaker over the only other 5-5 team, the Miami Dolphins, and the two of them are followed in the standings by six teams that have a 4-6 record.
The Jets missed a key opportunity Sunday, as a win would have given them a huge advantage on the rest of their playoff competition. Unfortunately, their loss to the Bills means that the Jets will be forced to play big game after big game down the stretch, with little margin for error.
The fact that the Jets were able to cling to their playoff standing despite their pathetic performance is incredible lucky, and they remain in control of their own destiny heading into the final six games. The Jets will still play the Dolphins twice, as well as the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders.
Each of those games will carry significant playoff implications, and some could even end up essentially being elimination games. The Jets have not shown any consistency this season, and that is something they desperately need to find if they want to be able to make the playoffs. They cannot afford any more bad losses, least of all to fellow playoff contenders.
The top five teams in the AFC are essentially set in stone, leaving eight contenders for the final spot. That means that every game carries huge significance, and Rex Ryan needs to make sure that his young team is prepared for the challenges they are going to face. The Jets control their own destiny, which is all anyone can ask for, but they need to play at the best of their abilities each and every week. The Jets were lucky to maintain control of the No. 6 seed this week, and that was the last free pass they will get.