As they ready themselves for Thursday night’s game in Denver, the Jets are in “must-win” mode. But that is nothing new for this team.
After losing three-straight games during a brutal road stretch from Week 3 to Week 5, the Jets needed wins the following weeks against Miami and San Diego to right themselves with a 4-3 record. Then in Buffalo, it was a “must-win” again if the Jets wanted to hang around in the AFC East race.
And now at 5-4, the Jets are in desperation mode against the Broncos, needing a win to sustain their playoff ambitions.
“We have seven more games left. Let’s focus on those seven more games. If we would have won [against New England], would it have put us where we needed to be? Yes,” cornerback Darrelle Revis said. “But we have to focus on these next seven games and finish the season out strong.”
The Jets have no choice but to finish strong in a season that has been “must-win” going on five weeks now. As the current playoff picture shows, the Jets are out of the postseason with the seventh-best record in the AFC. While it would surprise no one that they can and should jump into the playoff picture, it is clear-cut that this team faces a tall order.
Losing on Sunday to New England was a blow to the Jets as a win would have given them control of the division and let them control their own destiny for not only the AFC East, but also a home playoff game. Head coach Rex Ryan acknowledged that their divisional ambitions are now a longshot and that their best hope is yet again the Wild Card, which they’ve won the past two years.
“I still think it’s doubtful. I look at New England as an excellent football team. They’re a game ahead of us. They might as well be two games ahead of us,” Ryan said. “I look at it realistically.”
The good news for the Jets is that they don’t have the chance to dwell on their demoralizing loss against the Patriots for too long, given the midweek game in Denver. A win would be a positive first step in getting back on the right track.
“We’re looking at Denver. That’s the only way we’re going to get in the playoffs,” Ryan said. “You have to win one game, one game per week, and that’s the way we’ll approach it.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for updates on injuries and live tweets from every Jets practice.