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JETS CAN CLINCH THIS WEEKEND


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As the days in 2010 dwindle to a precious few, so do the playoff scenarios. And the Jets’ win at Pittsburgh did a world of good in minimizing the amount of things that will keep the Green & White out of their second consecutive postseason grid under head coach Rex Ryan.

Specifically, there are three simple scenarios under which the Jets clinch a berth:

Scenario 1 — Jets win (or tie) at Chicago at 1 p.m. ET.

The Jets would then rise to 11-4. No other wild-card challenger could then catch them at 11-5 and bump them via tiebreakers.

Or …

Scenario 2 — Jaguars lose (or tie) at home to Washington at 1 p.m. ET.

This outcome would be helpful, if the Jets stumble at Soldier Field, because Jacksonville is the only team that could catch the Jets for the last AFC Wild Card berth. That would happen thus:

If both the Colts and Jags win out to finish at 10-6, the Colts win the AFC South. And assuming a Jets win at Chicago and loss to Buffalo, then both the Jets and Jags would be 8-4 in the conference and Jacksonville would edge the Jets on records against common opponents (4-0 to the Jets’ 4-1, with the loss being that assumed L to the Bills on Jan. 2).

Or …

Scenario 3 — Colts lose (or tie) at Oakland at 4:05 p.m. ET.

If Indy loses, this guarantees that the AFC South runnerup will have at least seven losses, either the Colts or, if both IND and JAX finish tied at 9-7, the Jags.

The AFC West is not a factor for the Jets. Even if they finish 10-6, they would edge Kansas City at 10-6 based on conference record (8-4 to the Chiefs’ 6-6). If KC won both of its games to go 11-5 and SD won both of its games to go 10-6, the Jets and SD would be even in conference (8-4 each), common opponents (4-1 each) and strength of victory.

But the SOV calculation assumes the teams the Jets defeated finishing with the worst possible records and the teams the Chargers beat finishing with the best. If that were to happen, both the Jets and Chargers’ SOV would be even at 64-96. But it’s not going to happen. And if it did, the Jets would still squeak out the spot based on the next tiebreaker, strength of schedule.

But as always, it’s best not to rely on the tiebreakers. No loss of confidence in the locker room, no demeaning media and fan talk about backing in. For the Jets on the day after Christmas in Chicago, the best advice is: Just win(d), baby.

Jaguars Play at 1

Colts Play at 4

Edited by idahojetsfan
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