Are the playoff heavens opening up for the Jets or is it really the devil in disguise? That's the question you have to ask after Week 13 wrapped up with a Ravens loss on Monday night, the latest chip to fall in exactly the direction the Jets need if they are to turn chicken droppings into chicken salad this season.
The Ravens, Steelers, Texans and Titans all lost. The Patriots lost to the Dolphins, admittedly a mixed bag for the Jets, but the prospect of a Patriots collapse has its own benefits -- sad Belichick! -- and keeps the door to a division title cracked open just enough to see what's going on inside. That might actually be the easiest, if not the likeliest, route for the Jets to take to the postseason since they're on the short end of tiebreakers with most of the other contenders.
The Broncos are 8-4 and seem like a safe bet to land one of the Wild Card spots. The 7-5 Jaguars, however, have been fairly unimpressive for large stretches of the season, as have the Jets' fellow .500 teams in Baltimore, Miami and Pittsburgh. Of course, the Jets are 0-3 against the Jags and Phins this season, so throwing out accusations of unimpressiveness is best done with an admission that the Jets are no one's idea of an impressive outfit.
With four games left for everybody, it's a fool's errand to crunch each of the team's schedules to figure out advantages and disadvantages. There are games that look easy on paper which will turn out to be nailbiters and those that look tough now but will be far different thanks to injuries. The Jets can't lose another game and need a lot of help, that's all we know and that's why, sadly, this season seems destined to go down in flames.
Think about the worst loss of the Jets season. We'll wait as you try to choose between the two Miami games, the Buffalo debacle and the Jacksonville abomination, although it doesn't much matter which one you choose. Win just one of those games and this picture looks a lot prettier. They lost all four, though, and that makes it awfully hard to see the Jets running the table in their final six games of the season. It could happen, but, again, losing those four contests means that it might not even matter if they do.
All of which probably means that's exactly what will happen. Stumbling to a 6-10 record would make it easier for everyone to move past the season without shedding any blood or tears. That's not the Jets' style, which probably means a lot of suffering in everyone's stockings.