The New York Jets have been on fire for the past three weeks.
Gang Green, with the help of a brand-new coach and brand-new offensive energy, are riding their first three-game win streak since 2011 heading into their Week 15 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, but even an 11-5 finish on the season could still keep the Jets out of the playoffs.
Welcome to the Wild Card race in the AFC.
Coming into this Sunday, the Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers all boast an 8-5 record and are all prime contenders for two wild-card spots. If all three squads win out, New York will be on the outside looking in when it comes to playoff berths thanks to a three-way tiebreaker.
So, how exactly does that work? Caution: math’ing ahead.
Even if the Jets wrap up the year at 11-5 they would lose out to Kansas City based on conference record and drop behind the Steelers based on their record against common opponents. Right now New York is 6-4 in conference with two more AFC East games left on the schedule.
Here’s the remaining three games for the top three Wild Card contenders:
Kansas City Chiefs: at Baltimore Ravvens, vs. Cleveland Browns, vs. Oakland Raiders
New York Jets: at Dallas Cowboys, vs. New England Patriots, at Buffalo Bills
Pittsburgh Steelers: vs. Denver Broncos, at Baltimore Ravens, at Cleveland Browns
“It’s what we were dealt and the bed we made ourselves,” coach Todd Bowles told ESPN. “We understand that, and we’re just going to continue to get better as a team and just take it one game at a time. We’re not going to worry about what happens at the end.”
Of course, just glancing at the schedule it appears the Chiefs have the best chance at winning out, going up against three teams with a combined winning percentage of .333.
Still, it’s not all negative for New York. The Jets don’t control their own destiny by any means, but are still No. 6 in the AFC playoff standings thanks to a better conference record. In other words, Gang Green should really consider winning both of its final two games and might want to be become big-time Denver Broncos fans this weekend.