The Jets got off to a strong start during the 2022 NFL season. Their revamped defense and strong running game made them look like a surprise AFC contender that could make some noise come playoff time.
Now, the team is wondering whether they will make it into the playoffs.
New York is currently on a three-game losing streak and has dropped four of its last five games. The Jets have slipped out of the AFC race, but they are still within striking distance of a wild-card spot.
Can the Jets secure that wild-card spot though? It won’t be easy given their finish to the season.
Here’s a breakdown of where the Jets stand entering their Week 16 game against the Jaguars.
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Where do the Jets stand in the AFC playoff picture?
The Jets are currently the No. 9 seed in the AFC playoff picture entering Week 16. They are mired in a three-game losing streak that has caused them to drop precipitously in the standings, both in the AFC East and the conference as a whole.
Still, the Jets are just one game back of a wild-card spot, so they will be in the mix for the playoffs as the season continues.
The Jets have a 7-7 record, which is the same as the No. 8-seeded Patriots. However, New England beat New York head-to-head twice, so the Patriots own the tiebreaker over the Jets.
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What playoff tiebreakers are in the Jets’ favor?
The Jets own a tiebreaker against the Dolphins that could become useful late in the season. New York beat Miami head-to-head in Week 5, as the Jets won 40-17 against a beleaguered Dolphins team that was down both Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater.
The Jets would have to beat the Dolphins head-to-head in Week 18 to retain that tiebreaker, but otherwise, they own it.
As mentioned, the Patriots own a tiebreaker over the Jets after beating them twice. That will hurt New York in the playoff race. So too would a loss vs. Jacksonville, as that would not only drop them in the standings but would give the Jaguars a tiebreaker in the playoff race as well.
Elsewhere, the Jets have a 2-3 divisional record and 5-5 conference record. That puts them behind the Dolphins and Patriots in the first category while they are behind those two teams and the Chargers in the third category. That puts them at a disadvantage in those tiebreakers, but they still have two AFC games, one of which is divisional, to change that.
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What games are left on the Jets’ schedule?
New York has three games remaining on its schedule. They play the Jaguars in Week 16 at home before traveling to play both the Seahawks and Dolphins on the road.
The Jets’ opponents have a combined record of 21-21, so that looks like an average stretch on paper. That said, New York has faced a .541 strength of schedule to date, so this stretch should prove easier than the rest of their season so far. They just need to hope that the Jaguars don’t stay hot on “Thursday Night Football.”
How good are the Jets’ wild-card chances now?
The Jets aren’t far back of a wild-card spot, but they will need some help to get in. As it stands, FiveThirtyEight projects that New York has a 20 percent chance to make the playoffs. That rises to 34 percent with a win over the Jaguars and falls to 7 percent with a loss.
Certainly, the Jets can’t be ruled out entirely in this wild-card race. They have a great defense and if they can slow down Trevor Lawrence in Week 16, they will have a chance to put at least a little pressure on the Chargers, Dolphins and Patriots ahead of them.
Still, the Jets are facing an uphill battle to make the postseason. And if they lose in Week 16, the writing may be on the wall as it pertains to their 2022 NFL season.
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AFC playoff picture
Below is a look at where the Jets rank in the AFC playoff picture.
In the hunt: Patriots (7-7), Jets (7-7), Jaguars (6-8), Raiders (6-8), Browns (6-8), Steelers (6-8)
A win over the Jaguars would move them up to the No. 8 seed and put them half a game back of the Dolphins for the No. 7 seed. That would hold at least until the Patriots play the Bengals on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a loss would drop them to the No. 10 seed in the conference, as the Jaguars would have a head-to-head tiebreak against them. That would make it difficult for New York to mount a playoff push in the final two weeks of the season.