Throughout the offseason, NewYorkJets.com reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg, Randy Lange, Caroline Hendershot and John Pullano will each give their predictions to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.
Today's question: What do you think of the Jets' position in the standing at the bye?
EA: The Jets, one of the NFL's biggest surprises at 6-3, are in a great spot. The AFC has nine teams over .500, including all four clubs in the AFC East. The Jets own a 2-1 division mark, and their 5 conference wins are tops in the AFC. The Jets will be challenged on the road with five games against teams with winning records: New England (5-4), Minnesota (7-1), Buffalo (6-2), Seattle (6-3) and Miami (6-3). The Jets and the Eagles are the only teams in the NFL with perfect road marks at 4-0. The Jets should be favorites in their final three home games — Week 11 vs. Chicago, Week 15 vs. Detroit and Week 16 vs. Jacksonville — against clubs that have a combined 2-10 road record. The Jets have already assured themselves of playing meaningful games in December. Now the question becomes whether they'll be playing meaningful games in January. A huge contest awaits as the Green & White will have revenge on their minds come Week 11 at the Pats
EG: TheJets (6-3) are in a good spot heading into the bye. They're the No. 5 seed in the AFC right now. The Steelers had 9 wins last season and made the playoffs. Every season is different, but you'd imagine that 4 wins would snap the Green & White's postseason streak. The Jets' home opponents after the bye week – Bears, Lions and Jaguars – have a combined 8-18 record. Winning the remaining home games would put the Jets at 9 wins and they would need 1 win from among the Patriots, the Bills, the Vikings,the Seahawks and the Dolphins games to reach 10. Nothing in the NFL is guaranteed and nothing is easy, but there's a definite roadmap for the Jets to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2010. The Green & White has a blueprint for victory -- run the ball, stingy defense, no turnovers -- and could get reinforcements after the bye with WR Corey Davis (knee), OT Max Mitchell (knee) and OT George Fant (knee) potentially returning from injuries.
RL: What's not to like? Well, a win over New England could've meant the Jets would be a half-game in first today instead of tied for second a half-game out. Otherwise, wow. In the last 20 seasons, the only times the Jets were closer to first place in the AFC East after nine weeks were 2008, '10 and '11, when they shared the top spot with the Patriots and, in two of those years, the Bills. So their first half has positioned them well for what will be a taxing final eight. The overall schedule strength is tough enough at .551 (38-31). But the Jets' five remaining road games, at New England, at Minnesota, at Buffalo, at Seattle and at Miami, tote up to a mettle-testing .698 (30-13). Whatever the Jets are as an away team — road warriors (4-0 already), roadkill (if not fully focused) or somewhere in between — will determine whether they're ready to be a playoff team. But first, it's rest for the rest of this week, then on to Foxborough.
CH: The Jets not only have a 6-3 record, but have a 2-1 record in the AFC East. Their record says so much more about the Jets resiliency. They have overcome injury after injury and not faltered. Whether it was the shuffling offensive line, which has stood strong, or the defense playing at elite levels no matter what offense they face. After the bye the Jets face all three AFC East opponents (on the road) for a second time and also play on the road at the Seahawks and the Vikings. If the defense, ranked seventh overall, continues its strong play for the remaining 8 games of the season, the Jets will have a chance for a winning record and a spot in the playoffs.
JP: The Jets, currently the top wild card team in the AFC playoff picture and second in the AFC East with a 6-3 record, are in a tremendous position to, as nickel CB Michael Carter II said, "make a run" to the playoffs. The Jets are 2-1 in the AFC East, tied with the Dolphins for the best record against the AFC East. In addition, the Jets are the only team in the NFL with 5 conference wins. The Jets have a tough remaining eight games, with five against opponents with .500 or better records. But the Dolphins have the same number of challenging games, and the Bills and Patriots each have 6. Headed into the bye, the Jets are in a great spot to try and make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.