Another week has passed which means the New York Jets-Trevor Lawrence strength of schedule tiebreaker has been updated.
Week 12 has not yet concluded. The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers are scheduled to cap the week on Wednesday. Wait, I meant Tuesday night. Wait a second … it is Wednesday, but this time, it’s now an afternoon tilt.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Week 12’s final contest, another (nearly) full week has passed, which means the New York Jets‘ current Trevor Lawrence situation has been updated (save for the Baltimore-Pittsburgh result).
New York still leads the Jacksonville Jaguars by a full game in the tank race. The team’s dispirited 20-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins at home did the trick.
Interestingly, the Jags nearly pulled off the upset over the Cleveland Browns but fell two points short in the end.
A Jags victory would have been crucial to the Jets’ chances at No. 1. Any combination of a Jets win and Jags loss would flip the two teams with the Jags holding the all-important strength of schedule tiebreaker.
And now, with just five weeks remaining, time is running out for the Jets to flip the tiebreaker in their favor.
Jacksonville’s .555 strength of schedule (which will drop to .554 once the Steelers-Ravens game is played) compared to New York’s .591 is starting to look insurmountable. Mathematically speaking, there still is a chance, but things would have to break incredibly right the rest of the way.
Michael Nania’s strength of schedule rooting guide provides us an updated look:
Here are the overall strength of schedule records as things currently stand:
- Jets: 104-72
- Jags: 96-77-1 (will turn to 97-78-1 or 96-77-3 – a .554 win percentage – once the Baltimore-Pittsburgh game is played)
This puts into perspective how much ground the Jets need to close. New York’s schedule is 32 games above .500, while Jacksonville’s is 19 games above. That leaves 13 games between the two teams. Every game on the rooting guide that falls the Jets’ way will narrow that gap, while every loss will widen it in Jacksonville’s favor. If the Jets can get a sizable enough portion of meaningful games to tilt their way over the next five weeks, they just might be able to steal the tiebreaker.
The teams the Jets need to win in Week 13 are as follows:
- Baltimore Ravens (vs. Dallas)
- Tennessee Titans (vs. Cleveland)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Washington)
- Cincinnati Bengals (at Miami)
- Houston Texans (vs. Indianapolis)
- New York Giants (at Seattle)
- Los Angeles Chargers (vs. New England)
- Green Bay Packers (vs. Philadelphia)
- San Francisco 49ers (vs. Buffalo)
The most important three victories would come from the Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, and Los Angeles Chargers. Victories by those teams would help the Jets make particularly massive progress in catching up to Jacksonville. The Titans play host to the Cleveland Browns and the Bolts welcome in Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots, two games that can easily break favorably for the Jets. However, the Bengals face a daunting task against the Dolphins in Miami.
Since Nania started keeping track in Week 9, there hasn’t been much movement. In terms of win percentage, the Jets trail the Jaguars by the exact same amount that they did three weeks ago.
Of course, simply maintaining the lesser record remains the best route to Trevor Lawrence’s services. The Las Vegas Raiders come to town this Sunday, while the Jaguars will play the Vikings in Minnesota, one of their two remaining games against a team that currently has a losing record (home against Chicago in Week 16 being the other).