WATCH: Ideal Week 4 results for the New York Jets

Mike Esposito

The New York Jets’ (0-3) slow start to the season has put their playoff hopes on life support and as things currently stand, the team has a nine percent probability to make the postseason according to

It’s still early in the season and, hypothetically speaking, there’s plenty of time to turn things around before it’s too late. However, if the Jets want to increase their postseason probability, they’re going to need a lot of help while they’re idle this weekend.

A shot at the playoffs is still a realistic possibility - mathematically speaking - but let’s get one thing out of the way: Barring an epic collapse, the AFC East is New England’s division to lose. 

It’s tough to admit, I know, but making a wild-card spot is New York’s most realistic path to the postseason.

Listed below is the NFL’s list of Wild Card tiebreakers. 

  1. If the tied clubs are from the same division, apply division tiebreaker.
  2. Head-to-head, if applicable.
  3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
  4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
  5. Strength of victory.
  6. Strength of schedule.
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
  9. Best net points in conference games.
  10. Best net points in all games.
  11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
  12. Coin toss.

As scores are hard to accurately predict, only the first six tiebreakers will be taken into account.

With the above in mind, Gang Green will need the following results if they want the best chance possible to dig themselves out of their 0-3 hole and sneak into the playoffs.

AFC games

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills

Ideal outcome: Patriots win

A Pats win would see the Bills fall to 1-1 in the division, putting New York within one game of Buffalo in the AFC East, giving Gang Green an opportunity to even this season’s head-to-head series in Week 17. If Gang Green can beat Buffalo in the final game of the year, both teams could - if the rest of the season pans out properly - finish the year on an even footing in the division, which might give the Jets the divisional tiebreaker necessary to advance. Buffalo’s conference record would also drop to 2-1.

Oakland Raiders vs. Indianapolis Colts

Ideal outcome: Raiders win

Oakland would gain ground in the AFC standings with an improved 2-1 conference record with a win. However, the Colts, who hold currently own the fifth seed in the AFC, would fall to 1-2 in the conference and 2-2 overall. As for the Raiders, New York will have a chance to level the playing field when they play them later in Week 12. With a win, the Jets would gain ground on Oakland in the standings and own the valuable head-to-head tiebreaker between the two teams.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Miami Dolphins

Ideal outcome: Dolphins win

It’s a tall order and highly unlikely to happen considering just how terrible they’ve been this season, but a Dolphins win would benefit New York the most. A loss to the Dolphins would see L.A. fall to 1-2 in the AFC, 1-3 overall, and its strength of schedule (SOS) decrease. With two games against the Dolphins on the horizon, the Jets will have a good chance to gain an advantage for the common games tiebreaker, as the Chargers still have two games against Oakland and one against the Jacksonville Jaguars (common opponents).

Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

Ideal outcome: Ravens win

Cleveland owns the head-to-head tiebreaker after its dominant 23-3 win over New York in Week 2, but losing to Baltimore would bring the Browns within one game of Gang Green with 13 more games to play. Also, a Browns loss would see their conference record fall to 1-2, and could give the Jets a slight advantage in both SOS and strength of victory (SOV); if they defeat the Ravens in Week 15, that is.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Denver Broncos

Ideal outcome: Broncos win

A Broncos win would put them ahead of the Jets in the standings, but it would also bring Jacksonville to 1-3 while lowering its strength of schedule in the process. By the end of Week 4, both teams would be within a half-game of the Jets in the standings and could give them a chance to earn the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Jags with a win in Week 8. Jacksonville’s conference record would also drop to 1-3.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Ideal outcome: Steelers win

Both teams head into this Monday Night Football matchup with an 0-3 record, but New York needs the Steelers to end the night with their first win of the season. A Pittsburgh victory would lower Buffalo’s SOV (defeated Cincy, 21-17, in Week 3) and lower its SOS on the season. Also, with games against the Bengals and Steelers remaining, the Jets could earn the head-to-head tiebreaker and common games tiebreaker with wins over both teams.

Inter-conference matchups

Tennessee Titans vs. Atlanta Falcons

Ideal outcome: Falcons win

A loss to the Falcons would improve the Titans’ SOS, but it would also see them would fall to 1-3 on the year, putting the Jets within half of a game of Tennessee heading into Week 5.

Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Ideal outcome: Lions win

This one’s pretty much a push considering just how dominant they’ve been and barring an extraordinary collapse, a Chiefs win or loss will have minimal effect on New York’s wild-card chances. That being said, a Kansas City loss would be in New York’s best interest, as they’d “only” be 2½ games behind in the standings heading into Week 5.

Carolina Panthers vs. Houston Texans

Ideal outcome: Panthers win

A Panthers win would see Houston fall to 2-2 on the year, which would tie them with Indy for first in the AFC South (With a Colts loss to Oakland). The Colts and Texans still have two head-to-head matchups on their schedule, which could decide their standing in the AFC South by the end of the year and give the Jets a fighting chance to earn the conference record tiebreaker.

NFC games

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay Packers (Thursday Night Football)

Final: 34-27 Eagles win

Philly’s upset of Green Bay Thursday night was the best possible outcome in this one. The Eagles will have a 2-2 record heading into their Week 5 matchup with the Jets and if the latter can come away with the win, it would improve New York’s SOS and SOV. Additionally, a Jets win would give them a possible common games tiebreaker advantage over the Bills and Pats (Both still have to play the Eagles).

Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants

Ideal outcome: Tie

The Jets will play both teams at some point this year and they can’t really go wrong if either team wins. However, while it’s unlikely, a tie would be an ideal result in this scenario. Both teams would leave MetLife with a 1-2-1 record (.375 winning percentage) and with games against both teams on the horizon (Week 10 vs the Giants, Week 11 at Washington), the Jets can improve their SOS. Additionally, they could earn the common games tiebreaker advantage over the Bills and Pats with wins against both teams (Both still have to play the Eagles and Redskins).

Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints

Ideal outcome: Cowboys win

This game has no direct impact on New York’s playoff chances, but a Dallas win would probably the best outcome for Gang Green this weekend. The Jets will host the Cowboys in Week 6 and if they can pull off what would likely be an upset victory, they’d greatly improve their SOS and SOV, and could have a possible common games tiebreaker advantage over the Bills and Pats with wins against both teams (Both still have to play the Cowboys).

Comments (2)
No. 1-2

We can't depend on tankers. We gotta take matters into our own hands.


Rooting for the Dolphins just feels wrong. And no chance they're beating the Chargers.

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