The New York Jets are 8-5 and have one more win than I thought they'd get this season. Most of that credit goes to two people: Head Coach Todd Bowles and Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
If the playoffs started today, the Jets would qualify as the sixth seed for the AFC playoffs. Yet, the Jets face long odds to make the playoffs. New York must win all of, or 2 of its final 3 games. In the latter scenario, they would be counting on the Pittsburgh Steelers to also lose one or more games.
The problem with that is the Steelers face only one tough game - this week's matchup with the Denver Broncos. For the Jets, tonight's matchup against the Dallas Cowboys is technically their only easy game. A loss tonight and the Jets give hope to countless teams that are slightly out of the playoff picture.
Looking back on this season, only two of their five losses count as games the Jets should have done better. Even in those games -- Weeks 10 and 11 -- the Jets faced teams that are on their level, with one (Buffalo Bills) being their Week 17 opponent.
Have the Jets done their best and will they continue to do so? Can they win all 3 or even 2 of their remaining games?
Though not dominant, the defense has stabilized, keeping teams to under 25 points in the last 6 weeks. This has led to a 4-2 record where the offense has proven to be the unpredictable force, scoring just 17 points in both losses.
The Jets are 7-1 when they score 21+ points, and 1-5 when they don't. The bottom line is the Dallas Cowboys do not have enough offensive output to beat the New York Jets. The Cowboys are averaging 16.16 points in their last 6 games, scoring under 20 points in 4 of these games.
For tonight, NY Jets At Dallas (+3.5; 41), the question is whether the Cowboys' best good enough to stop the Jets from scoring.
Jets' Head Coach Bowles has shown a lot of confidence in his offense, particularly Ryan Fitzpatrick, who in turn has not thrown too many interceptions. The Cowboys defense can go either way so Fitzpatrick needs to limit his risks.
The numbers tilt at .947 for the New York Jets to win by 6 points.
So, I take Jets (UNDER) because I think Bowles and Fitzpatrick know what's at stake. Pick wisely, come back for Sunday's picks and until then always do your best.