New York Jets

New York Jets: Will Jets Fans Get More Late-Season Magic?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 11: Rex Ryan head coach of the New York Jets coaches from the sideline against 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
Jayson LoveCorrespondent IDecember 16, 2011

New York Jets fans have been over their history, a whiny bunch—myself included.

However, there is no denying that recently, save for the elusive trip to the Super Bowl, Jets fans have been getting what they want—particularly late in the season.

Rex Ryan has gotten done what many great coaches have struggled with—getting his team to play well late in the season and in the playoffs.

The Jets have also been getting lucky.

In 2009 it was the Colts abandoning their quest for an undefeated season, allowing the Jets to coast in the second half to a 29-15 victory.

Then, they got the help they needed to make their matchup with the Bengals a "win-and-in" scenario, and the Jets rolled 37-0 and made the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

In 2010, despite losing a barn-burner of a game in snowy Chicago in Week 16, the Washington Redskins, who came into the game with a record of 5-9, rose up to defeat the playoff-contending Jacksonville Jaguars on a Graham Gano field goal, sending the Jets to the playoffs.

This season, the Jets received the help they needed again.

Losses to Denver and Oakland earlier this season put the Jets in the position of losing out on tie-breakers in head-to-head scenarios with these AFC West teams.

Five losses in the AFC, including a pair to the Patriots, makes winning the division and winning tie-breaking scenarios with teams the Jets have not played nearly impossible.

Entering last weekend, the Jets were on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.

However, they got some unbelievable breaks.

Houston Texans third-string quarterback T.J. Yates threw a touchdown pass to Kevin Walter to beat the Bengals with two seconds remaining in regulation, sending the Bengals to 7-6.

The Tennessee Titans had the ball down five to New Orleans, but the Saints turned them away, sending the Titans to 7-6.

The Jets took care of business in their game against Kansas City and have moved to 8-5, once again in the driver's seat to make the playoffs with the sixth seed, controlling its own destiny with three games to play.

This week, they take on the Eagles in what figures to be a tough game.

Despite a sub-.500 record, the Eagles are installed as a three-point favorite to beat the Jets on Sunday.

Can the Jets keep destiny in their own hands?

They will have no one to blame but themselves if they can't. They have received the playoff breaks they needed for the third consecutive season under Rex Ryan.

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