5 Things the New York Jets Need to Make the Playoffs
The Jets find themselves 6-5 11 games into their season—second place in the division, but find themselves scrambling for playoff hope.
Notice how I said in the title "What The Jets Need," not "What The Jets Need to Do." The Jets may need some help to make the postseason, but they'll also have to win to get there.
Not a bad schedule, but the Jets need to win about four out of five of these games and the team definitely can.
Let's see what the Jets need to achieve getting to the postseason.
1. Mark Sanchez Needs to Elevate His Game
Al Bello/Getty Images
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Mark Sanchez fan. And he hasn't been doing terrible either. But if the Jets are going to win out and make the playoffs, Sanchez needs to step his game up.
I'm not pinning it on Sanchez. In fact, the whole team needs to step it up a notch, but the QB is the captain of any team's helm.
Sanchez needs to play every quarter like the fourth quarter. If he can, wins will come much easier for the Jets.
If Mark can cut down on some of his under throws and other sloppy throws, it'll make the receivers' jobs that much easier.
He has potential to be a great QB and I'm sure you've heard that many times before and wonder when it'll happen, but I think his time is coming and it'll be hard to doubt him if he can lead the Jets to the postseason.
2. Fans Need to Turn Their Jeers into Cheers
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
This is an example of why I didn't title it what the Jets need to do.
Jets fans need to stand behind the team. When the Jets were introduced on Sunday before the game against the Bills, Jets fans were booing Mark Sanchez.
That's just unfair. People complain how Sanchez is overrated, but in fact, I believe he's underrated. He's not as bad as Jets fans give him credit for.
I understand Sanchez has had some not so pretty moments and has made some ugly passes, but he's also helped us win some games with a few clutch drives, like where he threw four TD passes against the Bills last Sunday.
He helped get the team to the AFC Championship in each of his first two seasons.
But that aside, if the Jets fans cheer on Sanchez and the rest of the Jets, it'll help the team a lot. Fans pumping up the team is why most teams play better at home.
So fans, if you're going to the next Jets home game, give Mark Sanchez some applause. It'll help his confidence and make him a better player.
It's important for players to know they have fans behind their backs.
3. Cut Down on Red Zone Blunders
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The Jets have had a lot of trouble converting on their red zone visits so far this season. Whether it's via interception, fumble or a botched field goal attempt, the Jets can't keep making mistakes inside the opponent's 20-yard line.
Nick Folk has missed some easy field goals, Mark Sanchez has thrown some bad picks and the ball has sometimes squirted loose.
But if the Jets can cut down on these mistakes, winning games will come much easier.
Most weeks, the Jets are barely scraping the win surface. But if the Jets can tack on three or seven each time they reach the 20, they will win games by a much larger margin.
These turnovers have sometimes cost the Jets or the Jets would still find a way to win. But if you need to win out, you can't be making those errors.
So Jets, if you find yourselves deep inside enemy territory, go for the kill if you want to win the war.
4. The Titans, Raiders, Broncos, Bengals and Steelers to Lose
Harry How/Getty Images
To those who are somewhat new to the NFL, division leaders and two wild card teams make the playoffs in each conference. The Jets, at 6-5, are tied for third place by record.
So the Jets need to get a better record than them.
The Jets will need to win out or get a lot of help around the league.
On the bright side, the Jets have an easier schedule than most of the other teams in contention with them.
5. Jets Need to Win the Games They're Supposed to Win
Al Bello/Getty Images
I listed the Jets remaining schedule in order back on the first slide. If the Jets are going to win out, they need to win the games they're supposed to.
Technically, they need to win just about all of their games. But in order to do that, they need to win the games they're favored in.
The Jets may not have been in this hole if the beat the Broncos, Raiders, or at least one of the Patriot games earlier this season.
They can't lose to lower teams such as the Redskins, Eagles, Chiefs or Dolphins. They need to win those games by a large amount. It will help the Jets confidence and give Gang Green the momentum they need to keep winning.