After the chaos that was Week 11 in the NFL, the New York Jets moved to 1 game back of the 6th Seed in the AFC playoff picture. The Green and White are currently in 9th place with a 4-6 record holding the tiebreaker over fellow 4-6 teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers, and Oakland Raiders.
However, the Jets lose the tiebreaker to the 4-6 Miami Dolphins due to their better winning percentage in AFC East games. The Baltimore Ravens currently hold that coveted final playoff spot at a 5-5 record, with the train wrecked Buffalo Bills, on the outside looking in, also at 5-5.
As the New England Patriots, Bills, and Dolphins still have to play each other twice, the Jets will be able to gain ground if they are able to take care of their own business.
A major part in handling that business is keeping Josh McCown as the starting quarterback for as long as possible. Todd Bowles has declared that McCown is his starting quarterback and despite the feeling of some fans, it is the correct and the only decision for the team.
If you are a fan who thinks the Jets should play Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg, please go look at the Buffalo Bills, who benched their established starting QB, Tyrod Taylor for rookie Nathan Peterman in the middle of a playoff race. Peterman threw five, first half interceptions before being benched in favor of Taylor. Locker room turmoil anyone? Been there, done that.
McCown is the clear cut best quarterback on the Jets roster and gives them the best chance to win; benching him for Petty or Hackenberg would practically be waving the white flag and could result in Bowles losing the locker room.
Although daunting of a 2nd half schedule, the Jets need to establish a formidable, consistent rushing attack, which is currently 21st in the NFL, and take care of the ball while creating more turnovers on defense. The Jets are 17th in the NFL with a +1 turnover differential.
More importantly, the Jets need to address their ridiculous penalty issues . The 81 penalties against the Jets in the first 10 games are tied for 3rd most in the NFL.
If the Jets want to have a chance of making some noise in the AFC playoff picture, they must clean up their self-inflicted mistakes and must continue to play hard and fast and then see where the pieces fall. Anything can happen on any given Sunday.