With three losses in their last four games, including a devastating 13-3 defeat to Seattle at Qwest Field on Sunday, the Jets (9-6) have ceded control of their playoff destiny.
The Jets now need help to reach the playoffs, even if they beat Miami (10-5) on Sunday. If the Dolphins lose to the Jets, either New England or Baltimore would have to lose for the Jets to qualify for the playoffs. New York would win the AFC East if New England (10-5) loses at Buffalo (7-8), or qualify as a wild card if Baltimore (10-5) loses to visiting Jacksonville (5-10).
Of course, at this juncture, expecting the Jets to recapture their November form might be the most remote possibility of all.
Brett Favre, who produced three straight games with passer ratings of 100 or better last month, hasn't been better than 61.4 in the last four games. He had a rating of 48.7 against the Seahawks (4-11), as he completed 18 of 31 passes for 187 yards with two interceptions as the Jets had 265 yards of offense. Over the last four games, he has one touchdown pass and six interceptions.
Afterward, Favre had no answers for what happened, just as he had few on the field.
"Three points, obviously, is not good enough," said Favre, who drove the Jets to the Seattle 2 on their first possession, but never got them into the red zone again. "We were just never able to get it going."
Coincidentally, the Jets will have to face former teammate Chad Pennington, who threw for three touchdowns with only one pick in bone-chilling cold at Kansas City on Sunday. Pennington has nine touchdown passes and two interceptions in his last five games.
As for the Jets offense, they're searching for solutions.
"Lack of effort (isn't the problem)," Laveranues Coles said. "It's just execution. We're not executing. ... There's no such thing as a shoo-in (for the playoffs). The situation we're in now says that."
That was the toughest thing for the Jets to comprehend.
Right tackle Damien Woody said. "I don't know that collapse is the right word. But I just know we didn't finish the deal. ... It was all right there in front of us, but we didn't close the book on this thing."
And because of that, Sunday could be the final chapter of a once-promising season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We don't have anyone else to blame but ourselves. Now we are in a situation where now we have to wait and see. We still have to win (against Miami). Even if we win, we still have to wait and see what happens. It's frustrating." -- RT Damien Woody, on playing Miami next week and not having control of playoff destiny.
TRENDING: The Jets thought they had rediscovered their missing pass rush when they had three sacks of Buffalo's J.P. Losman a week ago, including the one that produced the game-winning touchdown. But they produced no QB takedowns against Seattle, despite the Seahawks starting five offensive linemen who weren't starters when the year began. The Jets had 29 sacks in the first eight games this season, but only 11 since.