The New York Jets were so close. They were so close to playing for first place a few weeks ago. Before the road games against formidable foes. Before the heartbreaking losses. Before the Jets fell one yard short in Minneapolis, and one score short in Orchard Park. Now it all feels like things are slipping away. Two road losses against two playoff teams and now the Jets are on the outside looking in at 7-6, needing a victory in the worst way. Now the Jets go home to lick their wounds and prepare for a crucial game against the suddenly scorching hot 6-7 Detroit Lions, winners of five of their last six games. A win this week and again on short rest against the Jacksonville Jaguars at home next Thursday and the Jets are right back in it. A loss in either game and things will be looking grim for the Jets.
How did the power rankings feel about the Jets loss to the Buffalo Bills? Let’s find out.
12. New York Jets
The Jets battled against the Buffalo Bills, but they’ll have to live with splitting their season series. The weather dictated little offense between the two teams today, and both strong defenses came to play.
Mike White was an absolute warrior, leaving and returning to the game multiple times and then heading to the hospital as a precaution after the game. The shot he took from Ed Oliver was one of the most significant pops we’ve seen from a legal hit on a QB in some time.
The rest of New York’s schedule is not kind. They’ll have to fight and claw to retain their playoff standing against the Patriots, Chargers, and possibly, the Jaguars.
17. New York Jets (16)
Point the finger at the offensive line not protecting Mike White, who left the game twice but returned both times — only to be taken by ambulance to the hospital to have his ribs examined after the loss to the Bills. Tough days for running back Michael Carter (lost fumble in fourth quarter) and cornerback Michael Carter II (two penalties).
12. New York Jets (7-6)
Week 14 ranking: 12
Special teams: 11
The Jets have some promising young players on offense, most notably wideout Garrett Wilson, but they have topped the 30-point mark only twice. Two factors could explain it: upheaval at quarterback (three different starters) and offensive tackle (six different starters). Zach Wilson’s regression, and eventual benching, is a big reason for the quarterback instability. A new and improved secondary, led by cornerbacks Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed, is the biggest reason for the massive improvement on defense. A season ago, the Jets had arguably the worst defense; now it is a legit top-10 unit.
12. Jets (11): First-round WR Garrett Wilson has taken off with tough-as-nails QB Mike White in the lineup. Over the past three weeks, Wilson has averaged 111.7 receiving yards, and his 868 on the season are a new team record for rookies.
Somewhat surprisingly, two straight losses have not made much of a dent in the Jets’ power rankings. The fact that those two losses came on the road to two playoff teams no doubt factors into this. With the obvious proviso that power rankings are stupid, unless they praise the Jets, in which case they’re awesome, what do you think? Where should the Jets rank in the NFL power rankings?