Heading into last night’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions, the Jets were clinging to the smallest of playoff hopes and needed a miracle in order to have shot at the postseason. However, when Justin Tucker’s 61 yard field goal slipped inside the right upright to give the Ravens an 18-16 win, the Jets were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
A Ravens loss would have simply prolonged the inevitable, but now we know for sure that the Jets will miss the playoffs for the third straight season. That is a pretty serious indictment of head coach Rex Ryan, and his status with the organization going forward will be one of the biggest talking points over the final few weeks.
The Jets have actually exceed preseason expectations with their 6-8 record, but they have collapsed in the second half of the season. The Jets were 5-4 and holding the sixth seed coming off their bye, but since then they have lost 4 of 5 games. They play against the Cleveland Browns Sunday in a game that both teams are better off losing because of draft positioning, and then they close the season by trying to play spoiler for the rival Miami Dolphins.
There are major personnel changes coming to the Jets’ roster this offseason, as well as the potential coaching change. They will use the final two weeks of the season to evaluate the talent they have and determine who could be an asset going forward. Don’t be surprised if veterans such as Ed Reed, Santonio Holmes and Kellen Winslow see their playing time reduced in favor of younger players who may actually have a future with the organization.
The Jets will also be hoping to see something from Geno Smith that gives them a strong indication one way or the other about whether or not he can be their franchise quarterback. His play will be the focus of everyone’s attention, and he has two games to prove that the Jets don’t need to look to upgrade the quarterback position this offseason.
This is now the Jets’ longest playoff drought since the mid-90′s, and it is the longest under owner Woody Johnson. John Idzik is going to be very busy this offseason as he tries to rebuild this team, and the Jets hope they will be able to return to the playoffs next season.