By trouncing the Cheeseheads on Sunday, the Jets climbed jumped from 16th in ESPN’s Power Rankings to ninth this week. But is Gang Green a playoff contender? Per the New York Times playoff simulator, the team has a 49 percent chance of making the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 season.
The Jets’ remaining schedule doesn’t look daunting. They face only two teams that currently have a winning record: Buffalo and Minnesota. In the next four games, New York plays at Denver (2-4), vs. New England (3-3), vs. Buffalo (5-1) and at New England. The Jets could easily go 2-2 in that stretch.
Denver has a top-five passing defense, but their offense has been miserable, scoring only seven touchdowns in six games — the fewest in the league. If the Jets lean on rookie running back Breece Hall, who has racked up 318 all-purpose yards the past two weeks, New York seems to have an edge.
As for the Bills, it’s unlikely the Jets can steal a win from the Super Bowl favorites. Buffalo thumped New York twice last season, 45-17 and 27-10. But when it comes to another AFC East rival, the Patriots, Gang Green should be able to at least earn a split.
The Patriots’ early offensive woes have seemingly vanished under the surprising leadership of rookie Bailey Zappe, who has quarterbacked the team to wins over the Lions and Browns the past two weeks. Keep in mind, though, that the Browns and Lions have two of the league’s worst defenses, allowing 27.2 and 34 points per game, respectively.
In any case, Zappe could soon be back on the bench when Mac Jones returns from an injury.
If the Jets do manage to win two of their next four games, they would sit at 6-4. From there, they’d have a 60 percent chance of making the playoffs, per the New York Times. Jets fans have to like those odds.