Predicting the Remaining Games on the New York Jets' Schedule
To say the New York Jets have had a roller-coaster season to date would be a massive understatement.
The Jets, coming off of an embarrassing 37-14 loss in Buffalo last Sunday, have alternated wins and losses in every week this year.
Despite the team's inconsistencies, Gang Green would still make the playoffs as the AFC's No. 6 seed if the season ended today.
With the team holding a narrow lead in the race for the postseason, each game is of the utmost importance. However, with the Jets' inconsistencies, their week-to-week performances are incredible to predict.
With that said, here are in-depth predictions and accompanying analysis for each of New York's remaining games.
Week 12: at Baltimore Ravens
The Jets haven't lost consecutive games all season, but they will have a tough task beating the defending Super Bowl champions in Baltimore this weekend.
The Ravens may only be 4-6, but with their season on the line, expect John Harbaugh and company to show up.
Baltimore's offense has struggled for the majority of the season, largely due to the struggles of perennial Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice. However, Rice looked like his old self last Sunday against a solid Bears defense, rushing for 131 yards.
The Jets' run defense is capable of shutting down even the most explosive running games, though. New York's worries are about slowing down Torrey Smith. Smith has lightning-quick speed, and Antonio Cromartie has struggled mightily in recent weeks.
New York's offense will also have its work cut out for it. Geno Smith and company have scored 14 points or less in four of the team's five road games this season, and Baltimore's defense is giving up less than 13 points at home.
Expect the Jets defense to keep them in it, but Geno Smith and the offense won't do enough to pull out the big road victory.
Verdict: Ravens 23, Jets 17
Week 13: vs. Miami Dolphins
The Jets, now losers of two in a row, will have their playoff aspirations on the line when they welcome Miami to the Meadowlands in Week 13.
Despite their struggles against Miami in recent seasons, the Jets match up well with the Dolphins.
New York's defensive line should have a field day against the worst pass-blocking offensive line in football, and Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell should be able to find running room against a Dolphins run defense that is allowing a putrid 122.6 rushing yards per game.
Expect the Jets to show up and claim a huge home win over Miami to move to 6-6 and stay competitive in the AFC wild card race.
Verdict: Jets 24, Dolphins 17
Week 14: vs. Oakland Raiders
Gang Green will finally string together consecutive victories in Week 14 when they host an inferior Oakland Raiders squad.
As with the Dolphins, the Jets match up incredibly well with the Raiders.
Oakland's biggest strength is its ground attack, which ranks fourth in the league in rushing yards. However, Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings will have a tough time finding holes against New York's top-ranked run defense.
The Raiders also struggle to throw the ball (31st in the league in passing yards) and stop the pass (25th in the league in passing yards) on a consistent basis, which should allow the Jets to mask their two biggest weaknesses.
Oakland is also an inferior away team, as it is just 1-4 away from the Coliseum. The Jets, on the other hand, have lost just once at home this year.
Expect Rex Ryan and company to put together one of their best performances of the year and move to 7-6 on the season with three weeks to go.
Verdict: Jets 30, Raiders 13
Week 15: at Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have won six consecutive games, including the last two against the 49ers and the Patriots. Carolina boasts a solid ground game (125.3 rushing yards per game), and an elite defensive unit. Cam Newton can also sling it at times.
Expect Muhammad Wilkerson and Gang Green's defense to keep the Jets in it, but Geno Smith and the offense will struggle mightily to move the ball against a Panthers defense ranked in the top five in the league in pass defense, rush defense and scoring.
The Jets will be punched in the mouth all game long, dropping to 7-7 on the season with two weeks remaining.
Verdict: Panthers 23, Jets 9
Week 16: vs. Cleveland Browns
Coming off of a tough loss to the Panthers, the Jets will have their season on the line in Week 16 when they welcome the Browns to town.
New York is a much better team at home, and the Browns have won just one road game this season.
Cleveland's defense, which ranks fourth in passing yards allowed and eighth in run defense, will keep the Browns in the game. However, Rob Chudzinski and company lack the offensive firepower to move the ball on New York's defense.
Expect the Jets defensive unit to keep the Browns out of the end zone for most of the game, but don't be surprised if it takes a late score for the Jets to wrap up the season-saving win.
Verdict: Jets 24, Browns 19
Week 17: at Miami Dolphins
New York will head down to South Beach in Week 17 for a game that will have serious playoff implications.
The Jets have had their share of heartbreaking losses in Miami in recent years, and it could be deja vu in 2013.
Once again, New York's defense will keep the Jets in it throughout the contest, but the sputtering offense could spell disaster on the road.
The book on how to defend Geno Smith and New York's offense is out. Unless the rookie signal-caller can adjust, the Dolphins' opportunistic defense should have its way the second time around.
Unfortunately for the Jets and their fans, New York will suffer a heartbreaking loss that will put a final damper on New York's playoff hopes.
If Jets fans were told their team would finish 8-8 in the preseason, they would likely be delighted. However, with the capability New York has shown, it will ultimately be seen as a missed opportunity in a weak AFC field.
Verdict: Dolphins 23, Jets 20