The New York Jets have more or less self-destructed since beginning the season 4-1. They’ve dropped four of the last five, including Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.
What was a clear two-way race between the Jets and the New England Patriots in the AFC East has turned into fight to stay afloat and secure a wild card spot.
Breakthrough running back Chris Ivory, who averaged 115 yards per contest on a 5.1 yards-per-carry clip through the fourth week of the season, has amassed a combined 178 yards the past four weeks.
The Jets’ defense was repeatedly gashed Sunday by a quarterback that has four touchdown passes in his career; Darrelle Revis, one of the elite lockdown cornerbacks in the NFL, was consistently burned by DeAndre Hopkins.
Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers‘s outfit, which has 19 takeaways this season (fourth-most in the NFL), has often been put in a too-deep-to-overcome hole by the team’s offense, which has turned the ball over six times in the past two games.
Despite the rough patch, the Jets still have a shot to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2010.
New York is favored in three of the team’s six remaining games — versus Miami, the New York Giants, Tennessee — but still has to play the unbeaten New England Patriots.
The Jets have a 15.7 percent chance of earning the 5-seed and a 15.9 percent chance of earning the 6-seed, according to NFLProject.com. In the chart below, also provided by the site, the Buffalo Bills are more likely to earn a playoff berth than New York.
Head coach Todd Bowles has unquestionably turned what was a haphazard unit into a competitive squad this season, but recent weeks have unveiled inconsistencies in every facet of the game.
“I don’t think we’re underachieving,” Bowles said after the game. “I don’t think we’re executing. It’s about doing your job and understanding what you have to do. It’s not getting done. That falls on me and I’ll correct it.”
The window for a spot in the postseason is fading by the week, but at least for now, there’s still life in Rutherford.