Two years ago this week, Rex Ryan thought his team was out of the playoff race after a tough loss. The Jets were very much alive, and wound up going to the AFC Conference title game.
Judging by his statements this week, Ryan seems to think Giants-Jets is essentially a “win or else” type of game.
“There’s some more important things that go into it, because basically, you’re out of the playoffs if you lose this game, either team is,” Ryan said.
This idea has trickled down to the Jets’ players.
“It’s going to be us or them. For one of us, the dream is over with,” Bart Scott said via New York Daily News.
That’s really not true for both teams, especially the Jets.
Consider that the Jets currently hold a strength of victory tiebreaker over Cincinnati. Bengals.com spoke with the Elias Sports Bureau and determined that it’s very unlikely the Bengals could pass New York in strength of victory.
So let’s just imagine the Jets lost this week to the Giants, but won their finale against the Dolphins.
New York would give up “control” of their playoff fate in that scenario, but one more loss would hardly end their season. All the Jets might need is for the Bengals to lose one of their next two games against Arizona and Baltimore. We’d expect that to happen.
Losing a seventh game would open things up for teams like the Chargers, Raiders, and Titans. San Diego looks like the most dangerous of those teams to get to 9-7.
But if the Chargers and Jets tied, New York has the head-to-head tiebreaker.
We know Ryan has other things to worry about that playoff scenarios. He has to focus on winning Sunday. But should the Jets lose, someone should let him know his season is far from over.