Wild and Crazy Time
By Chris Pine
Jets Staff Writer
November 29th, 2003
The Chiefs are one of a few teams that have locked up a playoff berth.
The Chiefs are one of a few teams that have locked up a playoff berth.
With only a few more weeks left in the NFL season, the playoff picture is starting to get very clear. It looks as if there is only one wild card spot left for a few teams to fight over. Now I know that the Jets probably wonít make the playoffs, but since they are not mathematically eliminated yet I thought I could fantasize about a few ways that they may be able to squeeze out a potential playoff berth. Before you throw your hands up in the air and call me crazy remember how you felt last season after the game against the Bears in which Wayne Cherebet tried to hurdle over a defender, dropping the ball and ending the game in the process. I know I said that the season was over at that point and yet they went on to win the division. So although I do not believe it will happen I am just speculating on how it could happen. First we should look at the teams in the AFC that we can all agree have locked up a playoff spot. These teams are New England, Indy, Tennessee, Kansas City, and either Cincinnati or Baltimore. I have already previously gone on record saying that the Bengals were going to win the AFC North so we will have to go with that scenario. As far as I am concerned a 9-7 or even an 8-8 record will belong to the last team that gets into the playoffs.

That means that the teams who are realistically vying for the last playoff spot will be Miami (8-4), Baltimore (6-5), and Denver (6-5). Every other team has either the same record or a worse one than the Jets.

Those teams with the same record (4-7) include Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Texas. To say that any of these teams are any better than the Jets is a dubious proclamation. The only team that could possibly challenge the Jets in this group would be Buffalo, who at best has been an erratic team.

What is Buffaloís situation? Well they have lost their last four games and the remaining schedule for the Bills is as follows: at the Giants, Jets, at Tennessee, Miami, at New England. My guess at a final record: 8-8.

So let us move onto the other teams with a little bit of a better shot at getting in, starting with Denver. The Broncos have lost four out of their last five games. They have been called inconsistent but with a record like that I would say they are just plain awful. Their remaining schedule is as follows: at Oakland, Kansas City, Cleveland, at Indy, and at Green Bay. My guess is they beat the Raiders and the Browns but lose the remaining three games leaving them also at 8-8.

Next on the list will be Baltimore who has lost two out of their last four games. They face San Francisco, a pivotal game against Cincinnati, then at Oakland, at Cleveland and finally at home against Pittsburgh. I am going to say they go 2 and 3 in this span only because they donít have a reliable quarterback and it helps my argument. Final record 8-8.

Now comes the tough part, the team that has been a thorn in the Jets side for years, Miami. The Dolphins remaining schedule is not an easy one. They face: New England on the road, Philly, at Buffalo and then in what could be a very important game against the Jets. Thanks to The Cowboys the Jets requires a lot of luck and divine intervention in order to catch Miami. For the Jets to have a shot here the Dolphins have to lose out. That is not exactly the easiest thing to do. So let us explore both options:

Best case scenario: The Dolphins lose out and the Jets run the table making New York the wild card and allowing us to send the Dolphins home on the final day of the season. I wish I could end this article right now.

Not as good of a scenario: The Jets go into the last game at 7-8 and the Dolphins are 8-7. If the Jets win they both sit with an 8-8 record. Now I think the tiebreakers involve combined weight of the coaching staff and some sort of iron man contest. Actually I think the first thing that is looked at is the head-to-head match ups in which the Jets and Dolphins would have a season split. So the next area to decide the winner would be the record against division opponents (someone correct me if I am wrong). If the schedule and games work out the way I predict (Which almost never happens) The Dolphins would be 3-3 (assuming they lose to both New England and the Jets and beat the Bills.) The Jets would be 4-2 if they win out against the division opponents like I ludicrously believe they can. Their next and last loss would be against the Titans. So if I were correct then the Jets at 8-8 would become the last wild card team. Assuming they win the tiebreakers against the Broncos and Ravens which is something so difficult to figure out I will leave that to everyone reading this.

Like I said this probably doesnít have but stranger things have in the history of this franchise. Stranger things have.

Picks week 13:

I have a second chance to pull ahead of the magical coin, which has flipped to a record of 18-17 just like I have. Imagine the level your confidence has to be to get excited over tying with a coin. I am pathetic.

Game 1: Philadelphia at Carolina My pick: Panthers The Coin: Eagles

I am considering hopping on this Panther bandwagon. It has stopped in front of me and I am checking the schedule to see what stops it makes but so far it looks real inviting. This team is playing with confidence, which is always a powerful weapon. Just ask the Lions after Thursdayís victory over the Packers. If you believe you will win. George on the other hand feels bad for McNabb still in the wake of the Rush Limbaugh controversy and also has fond memories of the city of brotherly love.

Game 2: New England at Indianapolis My pick: Colts The Coin: Colts

Isnít this week just loaded with great match ups? I actually may be found drooling in my living room while I flip around checking out all the action. I donít think anything can distract me from these games. The Colts may be on a roll even with some questions concerning the health of a few key members of the team. I think although they have to be commended on the job they are doing donít you get the feeling that Belichick is like the wizard of oz or something? Creating a magic show out of nothing? How long can he pull this off with smoke and mirrors? I donít knowÖbut when the Pats do crash I hope I am there to see it.

Game 3: San Francisco at Baltimore My pick: 49ers The Coin: Ravens

I am only picking the 49ers because if they donít beat the Ravens then it makes my entire article null and void. The coin obviously filliped to a Raven victory just to get under my skin. Damn probabilities.