The NFL playoff picture became much clearer for the New York Jets on Sunday. Win out, and they're in. New York emerged from the wreckage with a win in Week 14, while a heap of teams competing for the AFC final wild card were not so lucky. New York would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.
The Jets (8-5) beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 37-10, to jump ahead of the Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders, who all lost and dropped to 7-6. With three games to play, and a one-game advantage, New York is in a favorable position.
New York's remaining schedule offers the Philadelphia Eagles, whose name has "disappointing" attached as a prefix at this point (as in, "the disappointing Eagles"), and finish up with the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins. But that season finale against Miami could be wild if it's a play-in game with the Dolphins only motivation being to mess up the season for their division rival.
If the Jets do stumble, the first tiebreaker is conference record. Here's how the Jets stack up right now against their competition (and each teams' chance to improve their record before season's end).
Jets (6-5) -- Jan. 1 at Miami
Tennessee (5-4) -- Sunday at Indy, Dec. 24 vs. Jacksonville, Jan. 1 at Houston
Cincinnati (6-5) -- Jan. 1 vs. Baltimore
Oakland (5-5) -- Dec. 24 at Kansas City, Jan. 1 vs. San Diego
AFC Playoff Picture
New England Patriots (10-3)
Houston Texans (10-3)
Baltimore Ravens (10-3)
Denver Broncos (8-5)
Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)
New York Jets (8-5)
In The Hunt
Tennessee Titans (7-6)
Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)
Oakland Raiders (7-6)