On Sunday, the New York Jets were able to defeat the Buffalo Bills, knocking them out of playoff contention while keeping playoff hopes alive in the "Big Apple." However, the Jets are only "in the hunt" and have a massive uphill battle to win in the form of a six-game winning streak to finish the season to give them a chance at getting the sixth seed.
Although winning the rest of their games would be a great way to finish the season, the Jets need a few teams to lose in order to get a wild-card spot and hopefully continue their playoff streak.
Let's take a look at which teams the Jets need to lose in order for them to make the playoffs.
If the season were to end today, they would be in the playoffs with the fifth seed.
It will not be easy for Pittsburgh though as they still have to take on the Bengals this weekend who are currently the sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Not only do they have the Bengals left on their schedule, the Steelers will have to travel to San Francisco and take on a tough 49ers team.
It's hard to see the Steelers missing the playoffs; they will likely remain as the fifth seed and have to work their way through the playoffs on the road for the first time in a while.
Most likely, one of the bigger surprises of the 2011 season is the Cincinnati Bengals which I mentioned in the previous slide as the team occupying the sixth seed for now.
Led by rookie quarterback and wide receiver duo Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, the Bengals have found themselves being one of the top teams in the AFC after being expected to have an average season.
Like the Steelers, the Bengals will have to finish the season strong if they want to make the playoffs for the second time in three years. This includes beating teams like the Steelers, Texans, and the hardest game of all—the Ravens during Week 17.
The Broncos enter Week 13 with a record of 6-5. They are currently in competition with the Jets for the sixth and final seed.
Because the Broncos won three weeks ago, they would win the tiebreaker if the two finished the season tied, which is why if the season were to end today, they would not be in the playoffs but would finish seventh in the AFC standings while the Jets would finish eighth.
The Broncos face the Vikings in Minnesota, and judging by the way Tebow has led his team, it is likely that they may stay in seventh place for another week.
The Titans are right behind the Jets and Broncos as they are "in the hunt" as the ninth seed in the AFC. Just like the Jets and Broncos, the Titans are 6-5, but their conference record is worse than the other two, which is why they are the ninth seed.
The Titans are the team that will most likely be eliminated from playoff contention as the next two weeks include tough games that they will not be able to overcome. The first is a road game against a bitter Buffalo Bills team who would like nothing better than taking out all their anger after blowing their season against the Jets last week.
Sorry Titans fans, but it's all downhill from here.