I'm not one to give up hope, but things don't look good for the playoffs this year. Realistically, there are 6 games left, so there's a lot of football left. However, because of the teams leading NY in the playoff race, it looks like the teams are locked in already with 6 games to play. I know it's not set in stone, but lets look at who's in the playoffs after 10 games of the season.
New England, Houston, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cincinnati are the 6 seeds as of today. 4 of those teams are division winners, and the last 2 aren't going to relinquish the wild card to the Jets. Here's why.The AFC North currently has the 8-3 Ravens and at the 5 and 6 seeds the 7-3 Steelers, and 6-4 Bengals. The Jets aren't going to catch the Patriots unless Tom Brady slips in the shower. The Pats currently have games remaining against the Colts, Bengals, Browns, Chargers, Bills, and Eagles. They would have to go 3-3 down the stretch, and against those teams I don't see that happening. Maybe 4-2, but since they beat NY twice this year a tie in the East wouldn't matter if both should end up 11-5. That's a stretch, because it considers NY going 6-0 to get to 11-5 for the year.
That brings up the 5th and 6th seeds. Pittsburgh (7-3) plays San Francisco, the Browns twice, Saint Louis, Kansas City, and the Bengals. They are up 2 games on the Jets, and which of those games are they going to lose? I don't see them falling off against mostly vanilla teams down the stretch. They can fall asleep and wind up 4-2 They're pretty much a lock.
Last up is the Bengals (6-4). You would think with a rookie QB, they have the biggest chance of slipping down the stretch. However, they have a great defense, and a pretty easy schedule as well. Cleveland, Saint Louis, and Arizona are all wins. The other 3 games are Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Houston. Houston is without a starting QB, I'd guess 4 wins and 2 loses to the Steelers and and Ravens. If they go 10-6 which is my guess, we would need the Jets to real off 6 straight, and this is the best scenario to even make the playoffs.
I don't see how it is possible for the Jets to grab a spot unless one of these teams completely self destructs, or suffers some major injury at a key position. With that being said, I would still like to see us shoot for a 6-0 finish, but I'm not keeping my fingers crossed for the playoffs. To me it looks like 10-6 at best. The Giants and Eagles are potential stumbling blocks for loses. This is not to mention the Titans who are (5-5) have only 1 winning team (Saints) on their next 6 games. They can easily go 5-1 against the Colts, Jags, Bucs, and Bills.
None of the teams the Jets face down the stretch are in front of them in the playoffs, and 3 aren't even division games. I'm going to take the realist approach and say that 6-0 does not look good. If they lose even 1 of the next 2 or 3 games its over. I have a few things I would like to see to make it at least entertaining the last few weeks if that does happen.
1. Vertical passing. I want to see Sanchez take at least 8-10 shots down the field. With speedsters in Kerley, Holmes, and a tall jump ball threat in Burress, lets take some shots. I won't be as bummed about playoffs if I can see a 42-6 Jets victory once or twice with Sanchez passing for 400 yards.
2. Running backs. Is Shon Greene the every down back or not? Lets take the next 6 games to evaluate that. Also want to see if Joe McKnight is a good complimentary back to him.
3. Dustin Keller. Can Dustin Keller elevate his game and be the completion magnet for Sanchez? If 1 of every 2 passes went to Keller I wouldn't be mad. Especially if its for a first down.
4. A real right tackle. Is Wayne Hunter the guy, or is he a career backup? Also, Ducasse is just eating a spot that a real lineman could be using. Never draft a guy just because he is fast, or strong ever again.
5. Brodney Poole. I don't know how this guys knee is, but if it is better any time soon, he needs to take over for Eric Smith at starter. He makes mistakes, but he's a much better cover safety than Smith.
6. Rex Ryan. I like Rex Ryan weather the Jets win 10 Super Bowl's or none at all. I just hope he becomes more involved in the offense. He needs to be able to communicate with Schottenheimer more to tell him what he wants the offense to do.
I'm guessing we wind up in the 16-19 range in the draft. If so, it's way too early to start saying who is draft worthy or not, but I hope we take guys that can play and produce now, and not guys that might be ready to go down the road.