New York Jets: Road to a Playoff Berth for Rex Ryan and the Jets

Patrick MintonContributor IIOctober 27, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 21:  Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets watches his team warm up prior to the game against the New England Patriots on October 21, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The New York Jets have not been overly impressive this year, winning the games they were supposed to and surviving the first seven weeks at a modest 3-4 record.  Luckily, there seems to be an unprecedented amount of parity in the AFC this year and it seems highly possible a mediocre team could sneak in to the playoffs. The Jets could be that team. 

Heading in to Week 8, the Jets draw a matchup with the AFC east rival Miami Dolphins, a team they previously beat on the road, but not very convincingly.  Without giving the Jets too much credit, most believe this is a win the team should come away with.

Going into the bye week at 4-4 would leave the Jets in a position to make a run in the second half where the schedule lightens up significantly compared to the tough stretch they experienced through the first seven weeks.  As we saw last year with the New York Giants, some years all it takes is a 9-7 record to get your team in to the playoffs, and if the Jets play well and continue to beat teams they are supposed to, this record is not out of reach.

With four losses, the Jets cannot afford to lose no more than three games moving forward for them to be in contention.  They have a tough matchup against the Patriots in a few weeks and the Seattle Seahawks under Pete Carroll are a formidable opponent, as well, particularly on the west coast where they have played very well at home through the years.

However, if you look past those two games, you would be hard pressed to find an opponent that the Jets should fear.  Regardless of how inconsistent the Jets offense has been, the defense still has the personnel to earn this team some wins especially against some of the suspect offenses coming up on their schedule.

From this point forward, Rex Ryan and his defense will be playing against Ryan Tannehill, Russel Wilson, Sam Bradford, Kevin Kolb/John Skelton, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Competing against quarterback talent like that, it would be unfair to judge only the Jets offense if the team does not come out with all the necessary wins.

Consistency has been a problem for this year's team, blowing out teams like Buffalo and Indianapolis while being on the other side of a blowout against San Francisco.  This quality makes it very difficult to predict a record even against lackluster competition, but it is difficult to pin point a game on the schedule moving forward that the team does not have a chance to win.