NFL Playoff Picture: Why New York Jets Won't Capture AFC Wild Card

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 11:  Shonn Greene #23 of the New York Jets scores a touchdown infront of Reshard Langford #48 of the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent IDecember 12, 2011

The New York Jets are not going to the playoffs this year. They currently have a one-game lead for the last AFC playoff spot, but that is not going to be enough.

Here are the teams they are battling for the right to make it into the postseason.

 

AFC Wild Card Contenders

Pittsburgh Steelers 10-3

New York Jets 8-5

Tennessee Titans 7-6

Oakland Raiders 7-6

Cincinnati Bengals 7-6

 

First of all, no one is going to catch the Steelers, and if the Steelers pass the Ravens to win the AFC North than the Ravens will be the No. 1 wild card team.

That leaves the rest to battle for the second and final wild card position.

Here are their remaining schedules:

 

Jets Schedule

Week 15: at Eagles

Week 16: vs. Giants

Week 17: Dolphins

 

Bengals Schedule

Week 15: at Rams

Week 16: vs. Cardinals

Week 17: at Ravens

 

Titans Schedule

Week 15: at Colts

Week 16: vs. Jaguars

Week 17: at Texans

 

Raiders Schedule

Week 15: Lions

Week 16: at Chiefs

Week 17: Chargers 

 

Jets Have Tough Schedule

Obviously, if the Jets win out they are in. They are not going to win out, however. They have three tough games remaining and they are not good enough to win them all.

The Jets defense is vulnerable to the run. This makes their matchup with the Eagles next week a problem. The Eagles looked better with Michael Vick back at QB, and they have the speed on offense that has given the Jets fits all year.

The following week they play a Giants team that is hitting their stride. The Giants played the Packers tough in Week 13, and then put together a huge win on the road against the Cowboys.

While the Jets have been solid on defense, they struggle stopping any receivers that aren't guarded by Darrelle Revis or Antonio Cromartie. Football Outsiders ranks the Jets 22nd in the league in stopping receivers No. 3-5, and they rank them 27th stopping opposing tight ends. This plays right into the hands of the Giants who have three productive receiver and a dependable tight end.

The Jets will then end their season against a resurgent Dolphins team that is playing excellent defense. That game figures to be a low-scoring slugfest that either team can win.

Best-case scenario is the Jets win two of three to close out the season. That means if any of the three teams chasing them wins out, they will tie the Jets.

 

Who Will Get the Second Wild Card

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 11:  Karl Klug #97 of the Tennessee Titans celebrates with teammates after sacking quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints during play at LP Field on December 11, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Saints won, 22-17.  (
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Titans' remaining schedule is a cake walk. Their next two games are against the Colts and Jaguars. They will be able to win those even if their injured QB Matt Hasselbeck is not ready to go.

They will then close the season out against a Texans team that will have little play for, and Houston is not going to risk further injury. They will rest their best players and will lose to the Titans.

That means the Jets have to win two games to tie the Titans, and the Titans will get to the playoffs based on having a better record against AFC teams.

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