After playing their best game of the season in the 20-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Jets are off this week, meaning that local fans will actually get the chance to watch some good football this Sunday -- at least after the Giants play their 1 p.m. game.
At 2-8, Gang Green is essentially playing the last six games of the season for pride (the paycheck probably doesn’t hurt either). The question is, how many more games can they win, or, in other words, how bad can they screw up their draft position?
Let’s have a look at the rest of the schedule:
Week 12 – at Buffalo: Judging by their first matchup, not to mention Thursday night’s 9-point effort vs. the Dolphins, we know the Bills are offensively challenged but tough on defense. At 5-5, they’re a longshot for the postseason, but still in the hunt. If the Jets don’t turn the ball over a half-dozen times again -- know, you gotta dream big -- they’ve got a good shot, but this is a game the home team should win.
Week 13 – vs. Miami at home: QB Ryan Tannehill has stepped it up in recent weeks, as has the Dolphins' D, yielding just 56 points over the past five games. At 6-4, Miami has a solid shot at playing in January. But opportunity to play spoiler at home may be just what Gang Green needs for a third win.
Week 14 – at Minnesota: Vikings are 4-5, but I don’t know how. Oh wait, I do -- they’ve beaten really lousy teams (and needed OT to turn back the woeful Bucs). Yes, the Jets qualify as one of those, but even their DBs can handle rookie signal caller Teddy Bridgewater to get the W.
Week 15 – at Tennessee: Speaking of lousy teams and overwhelmed first-year QBs. Visitors win.
Week 16 – vs. Pats at home: L.
Week 17 – at Miami: Can’t see Gang Green sweeping a decent Dolphins team. If Miami fades as I expect them to, they’ll also be playing for pride come the last Sunday of the regular season. But that should be enough to split season series with Jets.
If the Jets manage to go .500 the rest of the way, their 5-11 record would both look, well, like 5-11 looks, and likely take them out of the running for a Top 5 draft pick. It almost surely won’t be enough to save Rex Ryan’s job, or John Idzik’s for that matter. But it should be plenty to subject the team’s fans to even more aggravation.