The Jets’ Week 14 loss to the Buffalo Bills has dropped their record to 7-6. The team maintains a narrow lead in the race for the final Playoff spot in the AFC, but both primetime games this weekend have major implications.
Miami Dolphins over LA Chargers: This would have been a tougher call had the Jets beaten Buffalo in Week 14. In that scenario, the Jets still would have legitimate hopes to win the AFC East, and a strong argument could have been made that a Miami loss would be more beneficial. That is now off the table. The Jets are three back of the division lead with four games to play. It isn’t happening. All focus now must go to securing a Wild Card spot. The Chargers are a game behind the Jets for the final slot in the conference. Additionally, it could be helpful for the Dolphins to open up a lead in their own Playoff race. The Jets and Dolphins play in the Week 18 regular season finale, and if Miami has a postseason spot clinched, they could be enticed to rest their starters. A Chargers win isn’t the end of the world. If the Dolphins lose this one, the Jets would pass Miami in the AFC standings by winning out. Still a Miami victory helps the Jets more.
Arizona Cardinals over New England Patriots: This one is not complicated at all. What happens to the Cardinals, an NFC West team, has zero significance for the Jets. The rival Patriots can pass the Jets in the standings with a victory. They are currently half a game back for the seventh spot in the AFC and hold the tiebreaker over the Jets by virtue of their sweep in the season series. New England will likely be the team the Jets need to lose more than any other the rest of the way.