New York Jets fans can relax and cheer for some other teams this week
Being a football fan is always one of the most stressful jobs on Earth. With that being said, it feels like this particular New York Jets season has been extra stressful for fans. From Aaron Rodgers’ immediate injury to five nail-biting games that came down to the very end, it’s been a nerve-wracking first six weeks for the Gotham Green faithful.
The bye week provides fans and players alike with some much-needed rest. For players, much of that rest is for the body, but for fans, the rest is entirely for the mind and soul. Finally, Jets fans can sit back and take in a full slate of Sunday football without pacing around the house because they are nervous about how the punt coverage unit is going to survive without Justin Hardee.
Jets fans, here is a full list of teams to root for in Week 7.
Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Miami Dolphins)
You don’t need me to tell you to root for an AFC East rival to lose against an NFC team. But this is an especially important week to cheer against the Miami Dolphins. There’s so much at stake for the Fins this week.
Poking holes in the Dolphins’ historic offensive production (37.2 PPG, 498.7 YPG) would be silly. However, it cannot be denied that Miami has faced an incredibly weak schedule thus far. The Dolphins’ five victories came against teams with a combined record of 5-24. They have only played one team with more than two wins, the Buffalo Bills, and they lost that game by 28 points.
The road ahead is much tougher for Miami, as nine of its next 11 games come against teams that are currently .500 or better. The combined win percentage of the Dolphins’ remaining opponents is .561, ranking fifth-highest in the NFL.
It all starts with the 5-1 Eagles. The Jets revealed a formula for defeating Philadelphia: force turnovers, shut down the run game, and protect the football. Can Miami replicate that game plan on the way to proving it is capable of beating good teams?
If the Dolphins lose this game, the hype surrounding them will decrease dramatically in spite of all their gaudy offensive success so far. Few will take them seriously as championship contenders with a 5-0 record against bottom-feeders and an 0-2 record against elite teams – not to mention, two elite teams that each lost to the Jets.
This would be an extra sweet loss for Jets fans to savor.
New England Patriots (vs. Buffalo Bills)
It is always difficult to choose who to root for when two AFC East rivals square off. In this case, though, I think it is clear that the Patriots should have the support of Jets fans this week.
Let’s just bluntly state a fact that we have not been able to state in decades: the Patriots stink. Sitting at 1-5 with the second-worst point differential in the NFL (-80), this team is not going anywhere.
For that reason, Jets fans should feel comfortable rooting for New England to pull off a shocking upset over Buffalo. We all know the Bills are going to be squarely in the AFC playoff race for the remainder of the season. The Patriots most likely are not going to be involved in the race even if they do somehow beat the Bills to inject newfound optimism into their future outlook.
If the Bills lose, they’ll be tied in the loss column with the Jets, who defeated them in Week 1.
There is a lot of football left to be played, yes. But let’s rewind to the moment when Aaron Rodgers went down on his first drive. At that point in time, what if I told you that the Bills and Jets would be tied in the loss column after seven weeks? With the Jets owning the head-to-head tiebreaker?
A Buffalo loss to New England would put the Jets in a shockingly promising position as they come out of the bye week. Some Jets fans might prefer to see New England’s misery continue with another blowout loss, and I understand that argument, but if your primary interest is the Jets’ chances of making the playoffs, a Patriots win is certainly the preferred outcome.
Not to mention, the Patriots are starting to look like serious contenders to earn the No. 1 pick and a chance to grab USC prodigy Caleb Williams. It would be nice if the Patriots won a couple of games – whilst still being far from good enough to make the playoffs – so Jets fans do not have to worry about that frightening possibility.
Chicago Bears (vs. Las Vegas Raiders)
Sitting at 3-3, Las Vegas is one of four teams that are tied with the Jets for eighth place in the AFC standings. Obviously, it would aid the Jets if one of their AFC wild card competitors lost to an NFC team.
However, a Raiders loss could help the Jets for another reason, too: pushing them closer to sell-out mode on the trade market.
As we broke down yesterday, there are rumblings that Las Vegas wide receivers Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow could be on the trade block ahead of the October 31 deadline. Both players would help a Jets team that is in need of wide receiver help. Of course, Adams would be a far bigger pickup than Renfrow, but the latter can still provide a significant boost for New York’s offense.
If the Raiders lose to a 1-5 Bears team – especially if the offense struggles while failing to fully maximize Adams and Renfrow – it could nudge them toward deciding they should be sellers on the trade market.
Green Bay Packers (at Denver Broncos)
For Jets fans who are interested in the possibility of potentially trading for Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (another notable WR who has been publicly complaining about his role in the offense), rooting for the Packers makes sense. If Denver falls to 1-6 by losing at home to a 2-3 Green Bay team, things will start to get ugly in Colorado, potentially putting Jeudy on the trade block.
Atlanta Falcons (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Here’s another interesting matchup for Jets fans who are eager to see the team trade for a wide receiver.
Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans failed to agree with the team on a new contract extension prior to the start of the regular season. He had previously stated that he would cease negotiating with the team if he did not have a new deal by Week 1. Evans will be a free agent after the season.
Tampa Bay is off to a surprisingly solid start, currently sitting atop the NFC South at 3-2. However, the Bucs had low expectations coming into the season and still appear to be pretenders rather than real contenders. They’re 3-0 against teams with losing records but 0-2 against teams with winning records, getting outscored 45-17 in those two games despite both coming at home.
If the Bucs fall at home to Atlanta, they’d relinquish their NFC South lead and fall to 0-3 at home against winning teams. While they would still be very much alive in the division race, it would become crystal clear that they are not serious Super Bowl contenders, which could entice them to trade Evans before they lose him for nothing in the offseason.
Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Los Angeles Chargers)
At 2-3, the Chargers are a half-game behind the Jets in the AFC standings. They figure to play a prominent role in the AFC wild card race, as it seems they do every year.
The Jets are unlikely to be competing with Kansas City for the top seeds in the AFC standings, so they can afford a Chiefs win. It’s more important for New York’s wild card competitors to falter.
Indianapolis Colts (vs. Cleveland Browns)
The Browns and Steelers currently possess the AFC’s final two wild card spots, both sitting at 3-2. The Colts are tied with the Jets and three other teams at 3-3, putting them a half-game out of the last playoff spot.
A Colts win would put them ahead of the Jets for the moment, but a Browns loss would drop them into a tie with New York.
To me, Cleveland seems like a more serious threat in the AFC playoff race than Indianapolis, so I would argue Jets fans should prefer to see the Browns drop this one. Plus, the Jets will have a chance to play the Browns in Week 17, so if the two teams remain close in the standings, the Jets can pull away with a win.
Los Angeles Rams (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
This one doesn’t require any thinking. The Steelers are a half-game ahead of the Jets in the AFC standings and they’re playing an NFC team. No-brainer.
If Las Vegas and Pittsburgh lose this week, the Jets will be tied for the seventh seed in the AFC playoff picture going into Week 8.
Eh, let’s just address the elephant in the room: Doing all of this standings-watching in Week 7 is quite pointless. We’ve got a long way to go. Let’s relax for now.
Regardless, it’s fun to think about. And, hey, when it’s all said and done, these Week 7 games will count just as much in the standings as those December and January games. So, let’s not underrate the importance of these games, either. With the Jets spending this week on the couch, why not try to pinpoint every outcome that could potentially boost the Jets’ playoff chances?
Enjoy the week off, Jets fans. Happy rooting!
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