The good news? Despite losing our last two games, the 5-6 Jets are still tied for the lead in the fight for the AFC’s second wildcard slot.
The bad news? It’s now a six-way tie, and, if it comes down to it, the Jets will lose the tiebreaker to at least three of those teams.
Here are some of the league’s best plays that Week 12 had to offer in games that could impact the Jets:
5. Troy Polamalu Drops the Steel Curtain
Down 10-3 with 2:33 remaining in the first half, QB Jason Campbell and the Cleveland Browns were looking to get some more points on the board and head into the locker room with some momentum. They drove to midfield, but things ended abruptly when S Troy Polamalu dropped the Steel Curtain on RB Chris Ogbonnaya, forcing a fumble, recovering the football and giving the ball right back to Big Ben and the Steelers. Pittsburgh kicked a field goal to go up 13-3 and never looked back, winning 27-11 on the road and advancing to 5-6 on the year.
4. Philip Rivers to the Rescue
Thirty-four points would have been quite an accomplishment on the road against Kansas City’s No. 1-ranked defense, but to turn that impressive feat into a victory, QB Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers would need yet another score. Down four with 1:22 left in the game, Rivers led the troops down the field and capped a seven-play, 78-yard drive with a perfect 26-yard pass into the hands of WR Seyi Ajirotutu for a touchdown. The Chiefs fell to 9-2, while the Chargers moved up to join the Jets at 5-6.
3. The Price Is Wright for Tennessee
A five-play, 75-yard touchdown drive the Raiders a 19-16 lead over the Titans with just over six minutes remaining. Thirteen Tennessee plays later, though, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Titans were faced with third down from the 10 with 15 seconds on the clock. Fitzpatrick took the snap, stayed in the pocket and delivered a strike to WR Kendall Wright near the front left corner of the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.
2. Panthers Pounce on Miami
The Miami Dolphins led 7-3 after the first quarter, 16-6 at the half, and 16-13 through three, but QB Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers were riding a six-game winning streak and had no intentions of bucking that trend. They took over with 4:13 on the clock and converted two third downs and one fourth down before Newton found TE Greg Olsen for the go-ahead 1-yard touchdown pass with 46 seconds remaining.
1. Muffed Punt Caps a Pats Comeback
Be honest. You turned your TVs off and went to bed at halftime after the Denver Broncos took a 24-0 lead over the New England Patriots in Foxboro, didn’t you? Well, QB Tom Brady got hot in below-freezing temperatures and the game went to overtime tied 31-31. When P Ryan Allen came on for the fourth punt of OT, suddenly a tie looked like a very realistic possibility. But the ball bounced off of Denver’s CB Tony Carter, New England recovered, and K Stephen Gostkowski put a chip-shot field goal through the uprights for the win.