Schwartz: Jets Alive And Kicking In AFC Playoff Picture
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By Peter Schwartz
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There’s no reason to print playoff tickets or plan a parade down One Jets Drive, but Gang Green has somehow found a way to hang in there.
At least for the moment, the Jets remain relevant and alive for a postseason berth, thanks to Sunday’s 17-10 win over the Jaguars in Jacksonville. It was far from a thing of beauty, but the Jets will take it as they improve to 6-7 — they are now within a game of both the Bengals and Steelers for the final AFC wild card spot.
Again, it’s not likely that the Jets will make the playoffs, but they know they’ll be preparing for another meaningful game next Monday night against the Titans in Nashville.
How badly do you think ESPN executives are hoping for the Bengals to lose to the Eagles Thursday night and for the Steelers to lose to the Cowboys on Sunday?
As far as the Jets go, there’s a big reason why they have won three of their last four games. It’s the running game as Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell have become a pretty good 1-2 punch. With Mark Sanchez asked to simply manage the game, Greene and Powell carried the offense while the defense did another nice job.
The Jets rushed for 166 yards after gaining 177 yards last week against the Cardinals. Gang Green has rushed for more than 115 yards in each of the last four games.
Another positive is that the players have not quit on head coach Rex Ryan — and that’s a big reason why there is no way he will be fired after this season. Whether they make the playoffs or not, if the Jets run the table here at the end of the season it will give the franchise a better feeling about itself heading into 2013.
The one problem? Is that if the Jets finish strong but don’t qualify for the postseason, owner Woody Johnson may not feel that ANY changes are necessary. And that would be the wrong avenue to take.
Clearly the Jets were impacted by injuries to Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis, but late-season success should not stop the Jets from making necessary improvements. That includes a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and some changes in the front office.
I don’t think general manager Mike Tannenbaum will be fired, but Woody Johnson needs to bring in an experienced football person to shake things up a bit.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. There’s still some football left to be played in 2012. And until the Jets are eliminated, they have played their way back into playoff contention.
The Jets’ captains were Jacksonville native Tim Tebow along with LaRon Landry, whose brother Dawan plays for the Jaguars.
WR Mardy Gilyard made his Jets debut and had two catches, matching a career high.
The Jets are 5-3 this season when they rush for more than 100 yards in a game and they are 16-2 under Rex Ryan when they rush for 150 or more yards in a game. This season, the Jets are 4-0 when they run the ball 40 or more times and they’re 6-1 when they rush 30 more times.
RB Shonn Greene tied a career-high with his sixth rushing touchdown of the season when he capped a Jets third-quarter scoring drive with a 1-yard run.
RB Bilal Powell set career-highs for attempts and rushing yards in a game. He carried the ball 19 times for 78 yards and a touchdown.
After holding the Arizona Cardinals to no third-down conversions on 15 attempts last week, the Jets defense held the Jacksonville Jaguars to just two third-down conversions on 16 attempts (12.5 percent).
The Jets have not allowed a receiver to break the 100-yard mark this season.
Jets Guard Brandon Moore and his wife Regina will host the third annual Moore Family Foundation Christmas Carnival this Tuesday at the Boys and Girls Club Newark. Other Jets players will be in attendance as 150 children be treated to a festive, joyful event consisting of arcade games, rides, inflatables, face painting, food, pictures and much more including a special appearance by Santa Claus.
That’s all for now! The Jets return to the practice field on Wednesday to begin preparations for next Monday night’s road game against the Titans.
Check back later in the week for more!
With an easy schedule ahead, how would you rate the Jets’ playoff chances? Let us know in the comments below!