Robert Saleh Jets playoffs
Mark Konezny | USA TODAY Sports

Robert Saleh believes his Jets are going to the playoffs. But they just took a real tumble down the postseason table.

The combination of Gang Green’s loss to the Bills and wins by the Chargers and Patriots this past week shook up the bottom of the AFC playoff picture. The Jets are now ninth in the conference, sitting two spots out of a wild card spot with four games to go. And while there is still time to move back up, they have a few things going against them.

The current AFC playoff picture:

1-Bills (10-3)
2-Chiefs (10-3)
3-Ravens (9-4)
4-Titans (7-6)
5-Bengals (9-4)
6-Dolphins (8-5)
7-Patriots (7-6)

8-Chargers (7-6)
9-Jets (7-6)

Barring a complete collapse, the AFC North runner-up is going to make the tournament. So there are effectively two wild cards available for four teams.

The remaining schedules for the contenders:

Chargers: vs. Titans, at Colts, vs. Rams, at Broncos.
Dolphins: at Bills, vs. Packers, at Patriots, vs. Jets.
Jets: vs. Lions, vs. Jaguars, at Seahawks, at Dolphins.
Patriots: at Raiders, vs. Bengals, vs. Dolphins, at Bills.

The Chargers have the most manageable remaining slate. The Dolphins will have the most opportunities to boost their divisional record, which is a key tiebreaker. The Jets have a golden opportunity to get well at home and position themselves. And the Patriots have no evident benefit with their schedule, but they own the tiebreaker over the Jets and can get it back against the Dolphins.

At this juncture … the Jets likely need to go 3-1 down the stretch to make the playoffs. And even that may not be good enough, depending on where the three wins come from. There is work to be done.

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James Kratch can be reached at

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.