Jets vs. Dolphins: How a New York Win Affects the 2012 Playoff Picture

Chris Dela RosaContributor IDecember 30, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 17:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets  against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on October 17, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

After last weeks devastating loss to the New York Giants, the Jets are down, but not completely out as they travel to Miami for their final game of the 2011 season.

This weekend, the Jets will definitely have their work cut out for them as the Dolphins have made it hard on opponents going down the stretch the season. If the Jets were to win on Sunday, though, they would still be in playoff contention if they receive some help.

In order for the Jets to make the playoffs, they will need to win and get losses from Tennessee, Cincinnati and the Raiders or Broncos.

As for the other teams in contention for the sixth and final AFC Wild Card spot, here is what they will need if the Jets win on Sunday:


Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals can clinch a playoff spot with a big victory against the Baltimore Ravens who are in competition with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the second first-round bye. If the Bengals win, they would most likely play the Houston Texans in the wild-card round.


Tennessee Titans

The Titans are the team that can crush the Jets' dreams before the Bengals even play, as they play the Houston Texans. The Texans have already clinched a playoff spot and are not in contention for a first-round bye, so look for them to rest most of their starters, giving the Tennessee Titans an opportunity to win and sneak into the playoffs if Cincinnati loses to Baltimore, and either the Raiders or Broncos lose.

The Jets do not have an impact on what happens in the AFC West between the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders.

Sorry, Jets fans, but it looks like Rex and gang green will be watching all of the playoffs from the comfort of their own homes this year. With all of the help the Jets need in comparison to the other teams "in the hunt," they really lost control of their destiny with the loss to the Giants.

Look for the Titans to sneak into the playoffs, as they will not face a tough Houston team, while the Bengals have to face a physical Baltimore team that would like a week off and a home game during the Divisional Round in a few weeks.