Jets Are Only Alive on a Spreadsheet

Ryan wasn't wrong on Sunday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images

    Of all the silly controversies about things Rex Ryan said this season, the hubbub about his saying that the Jets didn't have a chance to make the playoffs after Sunday's loss to the Falcons was the silliest.

    "Look what an obese buffoon Ryan is! Moments after his team lost a game by playing like a team that shouldn't make the playoffs, he wasn't aware of the convoluted mathematical possibilities that still exist for the Jets to make the playoffs. See, kids, we told you that Ryan's mouth would catch up with him this season, assuming you didn't miss it while we were falling all over ourselves to praise the swagger he brought to the Jets when they won their first three games,"  went the uproar.

    Just imagine, if you will, Ryan striding into the interview room after losing that game that way and telling the assembled reporters that the loss didn't matter because the Jets could still make the playoffs. Such a performance would have likely been met with a reasonable response from those that cover the team. That's the nice thing about Ryan. No matter what he says, he's leaving himself open to get whacked by the media.

    There's a difference between being done and being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. The Bills, for example, were mathematically alive for the playoffs before they lost to the Patriots last week but they'd been done for weeks. The Jets, no matter what the math says, were done the second they allowed the Falcons to beat them last Sunday.

    What does that mean for this weekend's game? For any other team, it would mean that they'd lose by double digits and end the suffering swiftly. Since it's the Jets, however, it means that they'll probably beat the Colts and see a couple of the other AFC wannabes lose to keep them mathematically alive.

    And then, in front of the last home crowd in their current stadium, they'll fall on their faces and lose to the Bengals.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.