Week 16 (9-6)
New York Jets: 23 | New England Patriots: 27
As per recent model, the Jets split their two meetings with the Pats, dropping the lone matchup in Foxborough. While the game is a constant grind until the final minutes, New York falls short and fails to solidify their playoff berth in Week 16, extending the tension an extra seven days.
Rob Gronkowski takes center stage, dominating the Jets with three touchdown receptions. With the win, New England clinches the AFC East once again, picking up their 11th win of the campaign.
Week 17 (10-6)
Buffalo Bills: 17 | New York Jets: 29
One year later, same scenario. Rex Ryan and the 6-9 Buffalo Bills serve as the only obstacle standing in the way of the Jets’ first playoff appearance since 2010-2011. The only difference: New York gets to play in front of their home fans.
This year, it is Todd Bowles and Gang Green who get the last laugh. Ryan Fitzpatrick puts his horrific 2015-16 Week 17 fourth quarter in the rearview mirror, firing two touchdown darts to Brandon Marshall while not turning the ball over once in the regular season’s final test.
The 33-year-old journeyman clinches a playoff spot for the first time in his career as the Jets waltz their way into the postseason.