Jets' Rooting Guide for NFL Playoff Implications of Week 14

Joe TanseyDecember 10, 2022

Jets' Rooting Guide for NFL Playoff Implications of Week 14

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 04: New York Jets wide receiver Corey Davis (84) celebrates a first down during the NFL game between the New York Jets and the Minnesota Vikings on December 4th, 2022, at U.S. Bank Stadium, in Minneapolis, MN. (Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The New York Jets have an opportunity to shake up the AFC playoff race on Sunday if they earn their second win of the season over the Buffalo Bills.

    The Jets are two games back of the Bills in the AFC East. A win in Orchard Park, New York, would set up a three-team sprint to the finish between the Jets, Bills and Miami Dolphins for the division crown.

    New York's playoff hopes are not in dire straits if it loses on Sunday.

    The Jets have a one-game buffer on the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers for the final AFC wild-card spot.

    The focus of Jets fans in Week 14 should be for the Patriots and Chargers to lose, that way the Jets can remain in the playoff spots regardless of the result in Buffalo.

    Rooting for the Chargers to lose to the Dolphins may seem like the wrong line of thinking, but the Jets are still in good shape if Miami gains a game on them in the standings.

Dolphins over Chargers

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    SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 04: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins throws a pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter of an NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    A glance at the AFC standings may persuade you that the Dolphins losing to the Chargers is the best result for the Jets' playoff hopes.

    The Jets have to head-to-head tiebreaker on Miami and can jump them with a Week 18 win if they finish on the same record.

    Miami moving two games ahead of the Jets is not the worst thing when you look at the remaining schedules of the two teams.

    The broader picture suggests that it is OK for Miami to win and instead let a team beneath the Jets in the standings get buried.

    Miami has to visit Buffalo next Saturday on short rest after a two-game west coast swing. The Dolphins also have to host the Green Bay Packers and visit New England before the Week 18 clash with the Jets.

    The Jets play the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars at home and then visit the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17.

    New York just needs to be one game better than Miami in Weeks 15-17 to be one game back going into Week 18, where the Jets can jump the Dolphins with a second head-to-head win.

    The Jets would rather have one direct challenger in the wild-card race than multiple teams hunting them from below.

    That is why the Dolphins should beat the 6-6 Chargers and keep them at least one game back of the Jets.

    New York can make up ground on Miami with its favorable schedule in the next three weeks.

Cardinals over Patriots

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    GLENDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 27: Running back Keaontay Ingram #30 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football against the Los Angeles Chargers during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Chargers defeated the Cardinals 25-24.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Patriots are just lingering down in eighth place at 6-6.

    The Jets need the Patriots to drop in the standings to avoid the doomsday playoff scenario.

    New England owns two wins over the Jets. A tie on record would favor the Patriots.

    The Jets would be out of a playoff spot on Tuesday morning if they lose to the Bills and the Patriots beat the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night.

    Arizona has four losses in its last five game, but it is fresh after coming off a bye week.

    The Jets have to hope the bye week benefited the Cardinals and that an upset is possible to keep the Patriots at bay.

Bengals over Browns

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    CINCINNATI, OHIO - DECEMBER 04: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Kansas City Chiefs at Paycor Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    This is another potential result that has a long play on the schedule.

    The Cleveland Browns are 5-7, but they have a favorable set of games to end the season.

    Cleveland finished with home matchups against the Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints and road clashes with the Washington Commanders and Pittsburgh Steelers.

    The Browns could go 4-0 in those games and make a late run at the wild-card spots.

    The Jets need the Cincinnati Bengals to beat the Browns so that Cleveland's ceiling is 9-8.

    That would be a welcome sight for the Jets, who would love to have as few challengers as possible between now and Week 18.

    Cincinnati sits one game ahead of the Jets in the wild-card race, but its trajectory is likely upward with Lamar Jackson out injured for the Ravens.

    The Jets will likely rather be in competition with the Ravens for a wild-card spot than the Bengals.

    Cincinnati could be a huge help over the next weeks to the Jets since it could hand losses to New England in Week 16, Buffalo in Week 17 and Baltimore in Week 18.