Before Monday night, the Jets held on to slim hope of a playoff berth. But a 28-3 beatdown by the Cardinals left them at 1-5, which means they are pretty much toast. Only two teams in the Super Bowl era have started 1-5 and gone to the playoffs (1970 Bengals and 2015 Chiefs).
The only remaining questions for New York are: (1) how to build for a better 2017? and (2) whether they can play spoiler to any other teams later this year? They can address question #1 by reworking an offense that has scored fewer than 20 points four consecutive weeks.
As for question #2, if New York can right their ship, they could make some noise and play spoiler to a few teams.
The Indianapolis Colts are 2-4 and DFL in their division. But they are only two games back of the division leading Houston Texans, which gives them a puncher’s chance in the crap-ass AFC South. In week 13, the Jets play Indy in New York. And with the Colts facing the Steelers the week before and the Texans the week after, this is a potential “trap game” where the Jets could pull an upset and cost the Colts a game they need.
ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 11: New England Patriots Alan Branch #97 of the New England Patriots, Dont’a Hightower #54 of the New England Patriots and Jamie Collins #91 of the New England Patriots celebrate after sacking Brandon Weeden #3 of the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of the NFL game at AT&T Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
The Jets do play the Patriots twice in the last six weeks of the season. And while it’s difficult to imagine the Pats losing focus if the games are meaningful, last year they lost a game with playoff seeding implications in New York. An offense as bad as the Jets’ doesn’t scare anyone, but if the defense can rise up, the Jets could cost the Patriots playoff positioning.
New York’s best chance to cause some trouble is against their in-state rival, the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo sits just one game behind New England right now, with a game against the Pats in two weeks. And if the Bills are close to the playoffs, or perhaps even a division title, late in the season, they play the Jets in Orchard Park the last week of the year (or more accurately, the first day of next year, 1/1/17).
Rex Ryan’s Bills beat the Jets the last week of the 2015 season to keep New York out of the playoffs. And no doubt Jets players, coaches, and fans would relish the chance to favor this season.