The playoff picture is finally coming into focus and the Jets seem an unlikely candidate, with one Wildcard spot seemingly up for grabs in the AFC, let's take a quick look at the teams that are the most likely to be in the mix for that one remaining playoff spot along with the Jets.
For sake of ease, we're cutting off (most of) the discussion at six wins.
RAVENS W/L: 7-6 CONF: 6-4 Remaining Opponents: at Lions (7-6), vs. Patriots (10-3), at Bengals (9-4)
Our Thoughts: Other than the Chargers, this is the toughest remaining schedule for any single team. The Ravens might be able to coast with just one win here and still beat the Dolphins because of the Ravens win over Miami earlier in the season.
DOLPHINS W/L: 6-7 CONF: 6-3 Remaining Opponents: vs. Patriots (10-3), at Bills (4-9), vs. Jets (6-7)
Our Thoughts: The biggest hurdle here comes this week against the 10-3 Patriots. The Pats can be susceptible to the Dolphins and the loss of Gronkowski makes the job that much more difficult. The Jets could be the last defense to keep the Dolphins out of the playoffs if the Ravens start to tumble.CHARGERS W/L: 6-7 CONF: 3-6 Remaining Opponents: at Broncos (11-2), vs. Raiders (4-9), vs. Chiefs (10-3)
Our Thoughts: Unless the Chiefs try to rest some players in the last week of the season, there seems almost no chance that the Chargers would get two more wins out of this schedule. The Chargers conference record is the real problem for them. Aside from them winning three straight while the Ravens drop two against New England and the Bengals they are essentially already out of it.
JETS (6-7) W/L: 6-7 CONF: 3-7 Remaining Opponents: at Panthers (9-4), vs. Browns (4-9), at Dolphins (7-6)
Our Thoughts: It's amazing how much those Bills and Dolphins losses hurt this team, even winning one of those games makes a huge difference. For the Jets to get back into the playoff hunt the improbable needs to happen. The Jets need to win out to beat out the Ravens, who can't win more than one game. Or, assuming the Ravens don't win another game and the Dolphins and Jets emerge with eight wins, they would need to beat the Dolphins -- who have to have already lost one game (Patriots is most likely) prior to their Week 17 matchup. It's not impossible but certainly there's a lot of contingencies that would have to take place for the Jets to truly be back in contention.
In the weeds: Look out for the Titans. The 8-5 Cardinals are getting hot at the right time, but the Titans somehow can beat Arizona this weekend, they might be home free to eight wins with the Jaguars and Texans the only teams remaining.