Jets need last-minute push for playoff hopes

New York Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios reaches for the ball under pressure from Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson.
New York Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios reaches for the ball under pressure from Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson.
AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes

The Jets are sitting at a 7–7 record after losing their third-straight game, but their playoff hopes are still alive — they’ll just need a big push to end the season. 

Currently, the team is one game behind the 8–6 Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers in their attempt to capture one of the three Wild Card spots in the AFC, as they trail the 11–3 Buffalo Bills by an insurmountable margin in the division.

With three games remaining, including Thursday’s matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, they’ll likely need to win through the remainder of their schedule to have any hope of postseason action.

The team has not made the playoffs in over a decade. 

Now, quarterback Mike White is hurt for the second straight game, and Zach Wilson will get the nod under center again — coming after he was benched earlier in the season, only to return last Sunday while White was dealing with a fractured rib. 

That puts enormous pressure on Wilson and the rest of the team, which is eager to snap their losing streak and regain the early-season magic that propelled them to potential playoff contention. 

“The good news is that we’re in these games and we’re putting ourselves in position to win. We’ve got to go back and find a way to recapture what we were doing in the first half of the season over the next stretch of games and hopefully extend it,” said head coach Robert Saleh. 

The team’s defense has been outstanding, and has largely carried Gang Green during the many times that the offense has sputtered. 

They’ve allowed just the fourth-least points of any team in the NFL at 263, and the third-least total yards of offense to opposing teams at 4,275. 

Rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (who missed last game due to injury) have held the team’s defensive unit down, along with several other contributors. 

On offense, after rookie running back Breece Hall suffered a season ending ACL tear earlier in the year, the Jets have relied on undrafted rookie Bam Knight, as well as fellow rookie Garrett Wilson, the wide receiver who the team picked 10th overall,in the passing game. 

Knight is averaging 61.3 yards on 15 attempts per game over the last three contests, while Wilson has recorded 18 receptions for 338 yards during the same time frame. 

They’ve dealt with problems on special teams and their offensive line, and their quarterback position has been a major point of contention this season, but they’ve managed to get through it and remain in striking distance of the postseason so far. 

Thursday’s game against Jacksonville will be a major test, and is a must win for the Jets.

For more coverage of the Jets, head to amNY.com.