As the Jets rested on Sunday thanks to their Week 10 bye, Gang Green has found itself in what appeared like an unlikely situation back in July. After beating the Buffalo Bills in Week 9, New York is 6-3 and firmly in the playoff picture.
But could the AFC East division title be theirs? Head coach Robert Saleh’s squad has a chance to take ownership of first place with a win against the New England Patriots this coming Sunday.
Of the eight total divisions across the AFC and NFC, the AFC East is the only one containing nothing but winning teams. We know the Jets are 6-3, but so are the Bills. The Miami Dolphins are 7-3, and the Patriots are currently 5-4.
Buffalo losing an overtime thriller to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday dropped them from first in the division to third. With a win of their own on Sunday, the Dolphins jumped up into the top spot. But they’re idle in Week 11, giving the Jets an opportunity to advance a little higher in the standings.
Even if the Bills beat the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, a win for the Jets in Foxboro will put them ahead of everyone because of tiebreakers. New York currently holds it over both Buffalo and Miami thanks to head-to-head wins.
This won’t be an easy task. It wasn’t long ago that the Patriots came into MetLife Stadium to beat the Jets for the 13th straight time. So, New York has some demons to exorcise this weekend in addition to trying to become a first-place team.
Can they finish the year as AFC East division winners? ESPN gives the Jets a 9.6% chance of doing it. Don’t tell that to analyst (and former Jet) Damien Woody, though. He thinks the Jets can do it, citing their 4-0 record on the road and top-tier defense as reasons why. He also thinks second-year quarterback Zach Wilson can minimize his mistakes enough along the way.
We know the Jets haven’t reached the playoffs since 2010, but when was the last time they won their own division? That would be 2002 when they finished 9-7. New York then lost to the Oakland Raiders in the Divisional Round by a score of 30-10.
So, there’s a lot on the line for New York in Week 11. At the top of this list, though, is to finally get that “W” against the Pats and remain perfect on the road. They probably can’t wait to get back on the field, either.