Monday, November 30, 2009

Jets' Playoff Picture: Week 13

Even though week 12 is over, with the Jets winning last week, I'm finally willing to talk about the playoff picture. I was waiting for the team to win first, and it took them a while, but after beating Carolina, the Jets are just a game back of a Wild Card spot. The tiebreaker situation is complicated, and the race is completely muddled right now, but let's take a look at things.

The leaders
Denver: 7-4 (5-3 conference)
Jacksonville: 6-5 (5-2)

The main contenders
Baltimore: 6-5 (6-4)
Pittsburgh: 6-5 (4-4)

Still kicking
Miami: 5-6, (3-4)
NY Jets: 5-6 (4-5)
Houston: 5-6 (4-5)
Tennessee: 5-6 (3-6)

Here's the games these teams will play this coming Sunday. All of these hypotheticals are if the Jets win on Thursday because if they don't, they're done. Still, there are a lot of tight games this week that wild card contenders could easily lose. A week or two from now, the Jets could actually be looking a whole lot better, until the at Indy-vs Cincy gauntlet to end the season.

Denver at Kansas City
Kansas City is not the ideal team you want to be rooting for, but they did beat the Steelers, and stranger things have happened at Arrowhead in division rivalries. Denver's schedule the rest of the way looks easy, so if they fall, they have to lose a game they shouldn't.

Houston at Jacksonville
This is a big one. Root for Houston. If they win, both teams would be tied with the Jets. Gang Green owns the tiebreaker over Houston, but not Jacksonville. The Jaguars might not be taken seriously by a lot of the NFL, and 20-3 losses to San Francisco won't help, but they're still above .500, and that means they need to start losing!

Baltimore at Green Bay
This is even bigger. Baltimore and Pittsburgh play one more time the rest of the year, in Pittsburgh in week 16. Other than that, both team's schedules are pretty easy, except for matchups against Green Bay. Pittsburgh plays them at home, but the Ravens need to travel to Lambeau. Baltimore wins, and they probably become the favorites to win the 2nd wild card spot behind Denver.

Oakland at Pittsburgh
Ugh. You have to root for the Raiders. Still, before you abandon all hope of an upset, remember that the Raiders have been able to pressure the opposing quarterback at times, and they did beat Cincinatti (who swept Pittsburgh) and Philadelphia. This time, they're on the road. On the bright side, Dennis Dixon might be starting again for Ben Roethlisberger, so if that is the case, the Raiders may have a long shot.

New England at Miami

It's best to root for the Patriots. The Dolphins own the tiebreaker over the Jets, so it would help to get them out of the way. Even if New England loses to New Orleans, the division is a pipe dream at this point, so hope the Patriots can knock down the Dolphins. Miami plays Jacksonville, Tennessee, Houston, and Pittsburgh the next four weeks, so if the Dolphins lose to New England, you'll probably be rooting for them to win three of the next four, as unappealing as that sounds.

Tennessee at Indianapolis
Root for Indy big. If the Titans win this one, they deserve to be taken very seriously to win their last four. If not, they have 7 conference losses, and you can stick a fork in them.