The New York Jets, who were in the running as the NFL's worst team just last week, defeated the New York Giants and may have taken themselves out of the race for the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft. That's just fine for quarterback Sam Darnold, who has much bigger aspirations for a Jets franchise that was supposed to take the next step in Year Two with him as the franchise signal caller but lost seven of eight games to open the season.
"We need every win from now on because we've still got a chance. I mean, if we get on a roll here and we win out, we've got a chance at the playoffs," Darnold said, via SportsNet New York. "Guys in this locker room know this. They know that, and we're just really excited to continue to get back to work."
The Jets have just a 2-7 record, so Darnold is certainly stretching the limits regarding the team's playoff chances. New York's wins are at home against the Dallas Cowboys (5-4) and the New York Giants (2-8), losing all their matchups against teams not in the NFC East (0-6) including giving the Miami Dolphins their first win of the season just a week ago. If the Jets would have defeated the Dolphins (a team that is allegedly trying to lose games), they would be sitting at 3-6 ... with an outside chance at making the playoffs.
The Jets will have to win to wind up with a 9-7 record and a remote chance at the playoffs. Their remaining schedule is at the Washington Redskins (1-8), vs. the Oakland Raiders (5-4), at the Cincinnati Bengals (0-9), vs. the Dolphins (2-7), at the Baltimore Ravens (7-2), vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4), and at the Buffalo Bills (6-3). The Jets have a decent chance to win three of their next four games, but play four teams with a winning record in their final seven games.
The Jets are 15th out of 16 teams in the AFC playoff race, three games behind the Steelers for the final playoff spot in the AFC. The Jets already lost head-to-head tiebreakers with the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars, so they would have to leapfrog them while winning out to even have an opportunity at the playoffs.
Darnold is pulling his best Lloyd Christmas interpretation, no matter the odds.