Don’t let three teams at 5-3 fool you. The New York Jets are the cream of the crop in the AFC East—numerically, hypothetically, literally, and spiritually.
The win-loss columns between the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and New England Patriots may be identical, but make no mistake about it—first place belongs to New York.
Take a moment to re-read that, Jets’ fans. Gang Green’s divisional record gives them the nod over the Bills and Pats for number one honors.
Does it matter that the Bills and Pats have only played two divisional games? Probably.
But should that take away from the sweetness of being at the top?
Running Away with the Lead
The Jets won’t be able to assume full win-loss control of the division without some things happening. With the season only halfway done, there’s plenty of time to make it theirs, but Jets’ fans would like to see some separation soon.
A win over the St. Louis Rams is crucial. New York can’t allow themselves to be trapped by a struggling team. Especially a struggling team that’s been beaten by the teams they share a record and division with. In the instance of a divisional tie, a loss to St. Louis could be the tie-breaker for actual supremacy.
If all goes according to plan, and the Jets send St. Louis back to Missouri with another loss, the men in green will have a short week to prepare for the Patriots at their home on Thursday.
With the Pats preparing for the Bills next Sunday, the outcome of that contest could mean a whole lot more for the Jets when they head north to Gillette.
A Win is a Win is a Win
The team’s inconsistency against mediocre squads in previous weeks doesn’t seem so terrible anymore.
The Jets overcame a huge hump when they defeated the Bills. They had yet to defeat a winning team on the road, and made a statement when they came away with a clutch victory.
There’s a lot to be said for upsets in the NFL, but fans have to believe that it was a step in the right direction for this squad. The team responded when necessary. The defense limited points, and the offense created long drives to give the defense much needed rest.
If the team can make the proper adjustments week-in and week-out, then victory is possible whenever they take the field. It may not always be pretty, but when is it ever pretty as a Jets’ fan?
Even the 56-point showing against the Arizona Cardinals left something to be desired, right?
More Than Just a Wild Card Team?
Not only the best in their division, the Jets hold the third spot in the AFC while everyone is beginning to feel the pressure from the playoff push.
At the start of the season, the race for the playoffs appeared to be as tight as ever, especially with so many AFC teams pouring out dominant performances. But one look at the current standings and the teams that sit behind the Jets appear to be on a decline.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans should hold tightly to their current rankings, forbidding any catastrophes. But the Denver Broncos are on a downward spiral, looking more and more like a team that will continue to struggle.
The Baltimore Ravens continue to be an incredible defensive team, hindered only by a rookie quarterback learning more about the NFL on the fly. Cleveland learned how dangerous Joe Flacco can be when he’s consistent and mistake-free, but the Ravens are hardly impervious to defeat.
The Colts could make a push for a Wild Card spot, but they’ve been wildly inconsistent from week to week. Every time fans are prepared to announce their return, they appear more inept than before.
The other teams that lag behind in the top six have more questions surrounding them than the Jets, and could fall out of the playoffs as quietly as they sneak in.
If we’re to assume that the Jets have turned a corner with their victory over Buffalo, then the picture in the AFC has become a whole lot greener.