Despite losing their last three road games by a combined score of 105-26, and dropping three of their last four overall, the Jets somehow find themselves tied for the final playoff spot in the AFC.
The Jets are one of six teams entering Week 13 with a 5-6 record, but they technically trail four of the teams due to various tiebreakers.
If the season were to end today, the Tennessee Titans would be the entry from the sextet that gets into the postseason. Tennessee has defeated the Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, and San Diego Chargers, currently giving them the final spot by virtue of head-to-head tiebreakers and other factors.
The Titans have the toughest game of the weekend, traveling to Indianapolis to take on the 7-4 Colts, so Tennessee could very easily be on the outside looking in come Monday morning.
When the Steelers and Baltimore Ravens take the field on Thanksgiving night, the winner will position itself rather nicely for the final playoff berth.
The Steelers won the first meeting of the year against the Ravens, and a win Thursday would not only clinch the season series over Baltimore, but it would give Pittsburgh the best divisional and conference record of any team still in the mix.
Both teams own wins over the Jets, meaning the Jets would lose any sort of tiebreaker should either team finish with an identical record as them.
San Diego is the only team currently with the same record as the Jets who they won’t meet during the regular season. At the moment, the Chargers are slightly ahead of Gang Green due to having a better record within the AFC.
The Chargers get a visit from a very good Cincinnati Bengals team this week, and a loss could knock their conference record down a peg.
Having said that, all of the above scenarios and tiebreakers mean a whole lot less if the Jets don’t take care of business Sunday against the fellow 5-6 Miami Dolphins. The team has already dug themselves in a hole having lost so many games to possible playoff-bound opponents, and can’t afford to lose more ground.
A victory would give the Jets not just another win, but it would also improve their record both in the division and the conference. Defeating the Dolphins would also do damage to Miami’s postseason hopes, killing multiple birds with one stone.
Coach Rex Ryan announced Monday that Geno Smith would remain in his role as starting quarterback, putting a lot of pressure on the rookie to step up and win a big game with playoff implications.
Smith has been much better at home than he has been on the road, so for the team's sake, hopefully he’ll be able to regroup after a couple of horrendous performances.
Sunday’s matchup will mark the first time the Jets and Dolphins play this year, with their final meeting taking place during Week 17. Playing a division rival twice in the final five weeks of the season is rare, but it could make for some great drama down the stretch.
The Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, and Buffalo Bills all sit just one game behind in the standings, and have a chance to make things interesting should they string together a few wins.
While the Jets have already split their season series with the Bills, they will get an opportunity to knock off both the Raiders and Browns at MetLife Stadium before the season is over.
With just five games left, the playoff picture is yet to develop, but it should get a lot clearer over the next few days.
Considering there have been more downs than ups as of late for the Jets, they are pretty fortunate to still be playing for something in the month of December.