No, it’s not true that every AFC team except the Patriots is 5-5, but it sure seems that way. In all, five teams are indeed at .500 with six games left to play, and, after their horrendous recent run, the Jets are one of them. This means that, somehow, despite their clownish performance of the past month, they remain within striking distance of a Wild Card playoff spot.
It won’t be easy. At the moment, the Jets are ninth in the AFC postseason standings, positioned behind all of their 5-5 brethren. Still, in a season where nine wins may well be enough to play past the 16-game slate, winning four of their last six should give Gang Green a solid shot at a postseason birth.
Can they do that? Well, their next three are against Miami, the Giants and Tennessee -- no juggernauts there. They’d better win all of those, though, because after that they go to Dallas -- which could be dangerous with Tony Romo back under center -- before a post-Christmas matchup vs. the Pats and an early January showdown with Rex’s Bills to close out the regular season.
Yes, like the Jets (and so many others), Buffalo is 5-5. Is it possible the AFC East rivals will go into that last game both fighting for a playoff spot? If so, it would make for a very fun week between the big holidays.
But first things first. Yes, the Fish (shouldn’t we call them the Mammals?) still stink. After losing to the Jets in London in October, Miami axed head coach Joe Philbin, and the franchise appeared to enjoy a rebirth under his replacement, Dan Campbell. Didn’t last, though, as the Dolphins have dropped three of their last four.
They do have weapons, though. OK, weapon. His name is Lamar Miller, and when he gets the ball --as a runner or receiver -- he frequently makes big plays. But, luckily for the Jets, Miller doesn’t get it nearly enough, largely because Miami is forced to bypass the running back while playing from behind far more than not.
QB Ryan Tannehill shows promise on occasion, but, four years into his pro career, he remains inconsistent -- and, thanks to an often-ineffective offensive line, frequently-sacked.
On D, the Fish are still waiting for a much better return-on-investment from Ndamukong Suh, although the lineman would have to play like a combination of J.J. Watt, Reggie White and Iron Man to justify the bank-breaking deal Miami signed him to last offseason.
Even after their recent struggles, there’s little doubt that the home team will be the better one when they line up against each other at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
If the Jets are going to make a run at the playoffs, they may want to start this weekend. It sure won’t get any easier for them.