Win and We're In
At the start of training camp, I wrote an article breaking down the New York Jets schedule. The summation of it being the Jets going 10-6, being swept by the Bills, and making the playoffs as a wild card. However, much as changed since training camp, and while my prediction came close, there is going to be an update. The Jets are going to beat the Bills on the road this week and make the playoffs. To do this, they have three keys to success, but as much as the story has written itself with Rex Ryan standing in the way between the Jets and the Playoffs, in all reality, they are the only thing standing in their own way.
First thing the Jets need to do is dominate the line of scrimmage. on both sides of the ball. To stop the Bills on offense is to stop them from running the ball. In games in which Tyrod Taylor has had to "win the game" he has yet to prove it with his arm has lost every single one of them. Making sure that the Bills don't get the ground game going is important, they are the number one rushing attack in the NFL. For the Jets to succeed offesnsively they need to do the same thing and dominate the line of scrimmage. This team does better when they are able to run the ball. Whether it's Bilal Powell or Chris Ivory or even Stevan Ridley, this team does well when they can run the ball on 1st and 2nd down. Yes the Fizmagic arial attack is carrying this offense, but they need to run the ball and stay balanced.
Secondly, they need to win the turnover differential. This Secondary over this 5 game winning streak has been able to get interceptions, lockdown on recievers, and overall play very good defensive football. Look at last weeks performance where they were able to contain the high powered Patriots offense to one offensive touchdown, and even intercept the great Tom Brady. And when the offense struggled against the Cowboys, the Defense's ability to force turnovers kept them in the ball game.
Lastly, this team needs to feed the beast, and by feed I mean throw to, and by beast I mean Brandon Marshall. While at times they try to force the ball a little to much to Marshall, games where he is getting 100 yards and a touchdown usually means success for the Jets. His two touchdowns last week against the Patriots really lead them to victory and contributed to Decker's light coverage in the Red Zone in overtime. When Marshall succeeds the Jets succeed end of story.
The truth of the matter is the Jets are in control of all of these things. as long as they do not beat themselves with things like poor play calling, turnovers, or poor coverage, they will be able to beat the Bills an make the playoffs.