The New York Jets (8-5) have seem to found their stride again, as the team has won three straight games. Just in time too, because only three games remain until the start of the playoffs.
The Jets started the season with a 4-1 record before hitting a rough patch where they went 1-4 to balance out at a mediocre 5-5 record. The Jets can’t be bogged down by another losing stretch if they hope to have any shot of making the postseason.
Over their last three games, the team crushed the Miami Dolphins (5-8) 38-20, snuck past the New York Giants (6-7) in overtime 23-20 and demolished the Tennessee Titans (3-10) by a score of 30-8. The past three teams the Jets have beaten are under .500, and it’s an encouraging sign the Jets have won against them and looked good doing so. Earlier in the season, the Jets struggled against subpar competition like the Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) losing 24-17 in Week 3 and the Buffalo Bills (6-7) losing 22-17 in Week 10. The Jets have recently taken down the teams they were supposed to.
Looking ahead, the Jets final three opponents are the Dallas Cowboys (4-9), the New England Patriots (11-2) and at the Bills.
While it has to go on the road, the team should be able to beat the Tony Romo-less Cowboys. Dallas has struggled without its star quarterback, who went down in Week 2 with a broken left collarbone and sustained a hairline fracture of the same collarbone in Week 12 during only his second game back.
Things get tougher when the Jets come home to face the Patriots, who beat them 30-23 back in Week 7. It’ll be a tough game for New York, who always seems to give the Patriots a hard time despite ending up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
In the last game of the season, the Jets will have a rematch with the Bills, who beat them at the Meadowlands 22-17 in Week 10 during the team’s skid. Buffalo seems to be heading in the opposite direction winning only one game in their past four.
The key to the Jets playoff hopes lies in the team’s offense, which is currently the ninth best in the NFL with 325 points scored. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to continue his run of success for the Jets to have a shot. Over the Jets three-game winning streak, Fitzpatrick has thrown nine touchdown passes without an interception. If he keeps it up, he shouldn’t have an issue finding his favorite targets, Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, the team’s premier wide receivers.
This season, Marshall has 89 receptions and 1,187 receiving yards to go along with 11 touchdowns. His counterpart, Decker, has 66 catches, 875 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
Of course, in order for the offense to be successful, the Jets will need running back Chris Ivory to continue his great season so the team will have a mixed attack. Ivory has accumulated 914 rushing yards and eight total touchdowns. He has emerged as the team’s ace running back.
The defense will have to continue to be consistent, as it has only yielded 256 points, good for 10th in the league. The return of cornerback Darrelle Revis will help, who missed the past two games with a concussion.
The Jets likely won’t catch the Patriots to win the AFC East division, so they’ll have to set their sights on a wildcard berth. To do so, they will need to outperform the Pittsburgh Steelers or Kansas City Chiefs throughout the remainder of the season. But to have any chance, they have to just keep winning.