Jets approaching winnable stretch of games

“I’d like to win all of them,” said Rex Ryan, when asked how many games he needs to win to keep his job. All looks like a long shot as the Jets close out the season with six games after their bye week. But winning four of their last six, that’s not impossible.

With winnable games around the corner, Ryan just might find himself some cool relief off the hot seat.

All of the pieces seem to finally be coming together in New York. New additions like Michael Vick, Eric Decker, Jace Amaro, Chris Johnson and Percy Harvin are starting to gel as the offense is taking form.

Jaiquawn Jarrett earned honors as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week, highlighting a solid outing from the game of musical chairs that is the Jets secondary. Jarrett summed it up perfectly when he said, “My teammates they get all the credit… They’re doing their job to help me do my job.” That couldn’t be more accurate, as pressure up front disrupted Ben Roethlisberger’s timing with his receivers. Big Ben’s bad game and the early turnovers made it impossible for Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers coveted running attack to get it going as the Steelers totaled 36 yards on 2.2 per carry on the day.

When the Jets roll into Orchard Park on November 23 the team’s confidence will be at a season high according to Ryan. “Our morale has been outstanding… We don’t like our record but we like our team and I think we like the direction we’re headed in right now.”

Perfect timing as they prepare to play through the easiest four game stretch of their schedule. The next four opponents for the Jets hold a combined record of 16-20. The hope of a six win season for this team is still within reach.

Winnable Games

Dec 1 vs. Miami (MNF): Miami might be the biggest question mark out of any team in the league this year. There’s a solid chance the Jets can steal at least one from them. It’s likely that win will come on Monday night on December 1. Ryan Tannehill is traditionally bad while being watched by a national audience. He’s 1-3 in his NFL career on prime time TV. That, and Miami’s banged up defense and running game give the Jets a solid chance at a prime time win.

December 7 at Minnesota: The Vikings are surprisingly good for being a below average team. Teddy Bridgewater has emerged as maybe the best quarterback from this year’s rookie class. This Minnesota team is young and is seemingly getting better each week. They have four wins on the year, but those wins come against opponents who have a combined 10-26 record on the year.

December 14 at Tennessee: The Titans are bad, maybe not as bad as everyone thinks but they’re still bad. On defense Tennessee is good against the pass (11 th in opponent passing yards per game) but fortunately for the Jets they’re horrible against the run (29th in opponent rushing yards per game) as they allow 137 rushing yards on average. Zach Mettenberger has been inconsistent as a starting quarterback, but as a rookie he’ll most likely improve during the course of the next few games. He’s taken seven sacks and thrown for 478 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in two starts. Of all the games this has to have the highest win percentage outcome as the Jets defense should prey on this rookie quarterback.

Questionable Games

November 23 at Buffalo: The Bills earned a decisive 20-point victory when these two teams faced each other three weeks ago at MetLife. However, the Jets have turned into a bit of a different team since then. Since Vick has taken the reigns the offense has run more smoothly. The Bills have had problems with mobile quarterbacks in recent years, but this team’s defensive line might be the best in Bills history. Like the New England and Miami games, this is a winnable game, but if the Jets lose the turnover battle it will be almost impossible for them to win this one.

December 21 vs. New England: Best-case scenario is that ether Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski suffer a nagging injury that keeps one (or preferably both) out of this game. Even though the Jets kept it close last time around, it’ll be hard for them to replicate their performance on defense last time out. Expect Brady and Bill Belichick to learn from the mistakes they made in that October game.

December 28 at Miami: Who knows, the Jets could win both of these games. But if Miami is good enough to blow out San Diego and hang tough with Green Bay the chances of that are unlikely. Tannehill isn’t having an all-star year by any stretch of the imagination, but his numbers are consistently improving year after year. The fact that Miami has struggled to run the ball effectively and that Branden Albert is out for the year, gives the Jets a fighting chance in both of the upcoming meetings between these two.


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