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Jets Playoff Scenarios: Changes After Week 15

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

There were lots of moving parts in the Jets' Playoff status after Week 15 of the NFL season. Let's go over some of the highlights.

Denver joins Pittsburgh and Kansas City as a Wild Card competitor.

For weeks, the two teams Jets fans had been watching were the Steelers and the Chiefs. After Denver's loss to Pittsburgh, the Broncos are in danger of losing the AFC West to the Chiefs.

The Jets entered Sunday needing a Chiefs or Steelers loss to control their own Playoff destiny. Pittsburgh's comeback win was a hit, but the consolation was that it dropped Denver's lead in the AFC West and over the Wild Card competitors to a single game.

Now in addition to a loss by the Steelers or the Chiefs, a loss by the Broncos will give the Jets control of their own destiny.

Here is why. If the Broncos lose another game, the best they can finish is 11-5. If the Steelers, the Chiefs, and the Jets all win out, they will also be 11-5. In that scenario, Kansas City and Denver would need to break the tie for the AFC West title. The Chiefs would win that by virtue of a better in division record.

The Steelers, Jets, and Broncos would be in a three-way tie for two Wild Card spots. The Steelers and Jets would get them based on a better in conference record.

The Jets cannot clinch a Playoff spot in Week 16.

There is no scenario where the Jets could have a spot secured before their Week 17 game against Rex Ryan's Bills.

The Jets can be eliminated in Week 16.

If the Jets lose, and the Chiefs, Steelers, and Broncos all win, the Jets will be out.

The Jets need to go 11-5 to make the Playoffs.

In theory, the Jets could make the Playoffs at 10-6, but that would require one team out of the Pittsburgh/Kansas City/Denver trio to lose its last two games. That probably is not going to happen.

At 11-5, the Jets would stand a pretty good chance of making it. Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Denver all have two games to go. The Jets would need one of those teams to lose one of those games to be in. Essentially, they would need one out of six games to go the right way. Yes, there are a lot of weak opponents, but upsets happen all the time in the NFL.