After beating one of the worst teams in football, the Jets are right back into the thick of the playoff race. Thanks to losses by the Steelers and Bengals which puts the Jets one game back of the 6th seed in the AFC at 6-7. Now what I’m going to do is try to show the various ways the Jets can enter the playoffs and how they can win or lose any tiebreaker while doing so.
First, I am going show the current standings and the final opponents that each team has left that is in front of the Jets. I’ll include the teams behind them later as none of them can get to 9-7 which is the most likely record that the Jets can get in by.
Current standings and tiebreakers as of 12/11
Wins tie break over Cincinnati based on head-to-head win percentage.
Remaining schedule – @ Houston, @ Kansas City, vs. Houston
Tiebreaker vs. only Jets – Lose due to H2H in week 6
Controls own destiny vs. Jets – 1 win knocks Jets out from catching Indy
Remaining schedule – @ Dallas, vs. Cincinnati, vs. Cleveland
Tiebreaker vs. only Jets – Win due to H2H in week 2
Controls own destiny vs. Jets – 3 wins or 2 wins with 1 being vs. Cincinnati to knock Jets out
Remaining schedule – @ Philadelphia, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Baltimore
Tiebreaker vs. only Jets – Win due to conference record (5-5 vs 4-5)
Controls own destiny vs. Jets – 3 wins or only lose to Philadelphia to knock Jets out
Remaining schedule – @ Tennessee, vs. San Diego, @ Buffalo
Now for the scenarios that will get the Jets in the playoffs (not 100% but close enough) it would be way too long to put who can be the 5th /6th seed in each scenario for now so I’m going to skip that part. There is no tiebreaker for all 3 teams as in-division tiebreaker is settled first before moving on to outside division tiebreakers.
#1. Jets clinch 5th seed
Jets win all 3 games
Colts lose all 3 games
Cincinnati cannot beat Baltimore
Steelers lose at least 1 game
Jets beat Colts alone H2H
Jets beat Steelers & Colts with conference record(7-5, 6-6, 6-6)
Jets beat Bengals & Colts with conference record(7-5, 6-6, 6-6)
#2. Jets finish 6th at 9-7
Jets win all 3 games
Colts win a game(worst finish would be 10-6)
Bengals do not beat Baltimore(would give them SOV win over Jets)
Steelers lose to Bengals(would beat Cincinnati in H2H at 2-0)
Jets beat Bengals with conference record (7-5 vs. 6-6)
#3 Jets finish 6th at 8-8
Jets beat Bills & Chargers to prevent loses in tiebreakers to Bills, Chargers, and Bengals.
Steelers only beats the Cowboys to prevent division win percentage win over Cincinnati
Cincinnati only beats the Steelers to prevent Steelers from winning H2H tiebreaker
Browns lose a game to prevent conference record win over Jets and division record win over Bengals and H2H win over Steelers
Jets beat Dolphins in common games (6-6 vs. 5-7)
Jets beat Bengals in strength of victory
As we are done here one of the only non-decided tiebreakers is the one between the Jets and Bengals with strength of victory in the event of an 8-8 record as each team would be 6-6 in conference and tied at 4-2 in common games (Jacksonville, Miami, Pittsburgh, & San Diego) so in order to decide that every game between teams the Jets beat and the Bengals beat becomes that much more important. Since they would have some common victories(Jacksonville & San Diego), I’ll leave them out since it would be useless to include them since it won’t affect anything. I have also adjusted some of the team’s records to reflect the scenario as a couple of the teams cannot be at certain records otherwise the tiebreaker is meaningless.
|Jets wins||Bengals wins|
|Buffalo (5-9) x 2 plays Dolphins||Browns(5-8)(cannot finish 8-8) plays Redskins|
|Dolphins (5-8) plays Bills||Redskins(7-6) plays Browns|
|Colts (9-4) plays Chiefs||Giants(8-5)|
|Rams (6-6-1)||Chiefs(2-11) plays Oakland, Indy|
|Cardnials (4-9)||Raiders(3-10) plays KC|
|Steelers(7-8)(cannot finish 9-7)|
|Total – (34-45-1)||Total – (32-48)|
|Best possible finish – (49-46-1)||Best possible finish – (44-48-4) or (46-50-0)|
Just to let people know the Jets can finish as high as 3rd in the draft order. There is only one scenario in which this can happen and it involves a bunch of teams going 7-9 and 6-9-1 with at least four whole divisions finishing with 6-9-1 or better records. So I doubt it will happen. The Jets currently sit in the 12th spot with a chance to move up or down as the season winds down.
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