Must-win game. It’s one of our favorite sports clichés; something number crunchers love to rebuke, due to the mathematical data always at hand.
Is it really a must-win game for the Jets? Of course not. Even if they lose, and both the Patriots and Bills win, they’d still be three games out of first in the AFC East with 10 games remaining, three against the aforementioned division leaders.
Simple math aside, the Jets are facing the 0-4 Dolphins at home; a team with little left to win this season, and a lot left to gain (Stanford phenom QB Andrew Luck) if they finish with the league’s worst record and the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Meanwhile, the Jets schedule following their Week 6 matchup consists of the AFC West-leading Chargers, a bye, and then two straight against the Bills and Patriots.
So when you consider the immediate dynamic of the Jets' 2011 season, then yes, sorry to fall hapless to the cliché, but this is absolutely a must-win game for Gang Green.
And it should be a game the Jets win rather easily. The Dolphins, albeit having played one less game (coming off their bye), are a total mess of a team right now.
Miami ranks 28th in total defense and, while they’ve been middle-of-the-pack on offense, they lost starting QB Chad Henne for the season in a Week 4 loss to San Diego.
Still, the Jets can’t just show up expecting a win, and there’s no certainty that the Dolphins are in fact throwing away the season so soon. Here are five keys to a Jets victory on Monday Night Football.