The last time neither the Jets nor the Giants made the playoffs was the 2003 season. The Jets went 6–10 and the Giants bottomed out to 4–12 in Jim Fassel's final year. It is beginning to look like this decade will end with another such season: We'll be fortunate to have either team see out the Meadowlands' last year in the postseason.
The Jets' win yesterday kept them alive, but the Giants' loss last night might have finished them off. Cool Standings, which tracks playoff odds for every major sport, has the Jets with 31.7 percent odds of sneaking in, and the Giants at 25.7. To give you an idea of how low those odds are, the site gives the Knicks a 34.4 percent chance of making the NBA playoffs. That's right: The Knicks are a better postseason bet right now than the Jets or Giants.
Can either team buck the odds? Here's a quick, dirty breakdown, using the Yahoo Playoff Scenario Generator:
New York Jets, 31.7 percent
It goes without saying that the Jets must win their last three games — no small feat — against Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati. But even that might not be enough. Essentially, the Jets need to win their last three and root for the Ravens and Broncos to unexpectedly lose a game that they shouldn't. And even then, you need the Dolphins to drop a game, too, because they've beaten the Jets twice and hold the tiebreaker. Go ahead, play with the Playoff Scenario Generator. It's not easy to figure out the Jets' paths to the postseason, is it?
New York Giants, 25.7 percent
Even though the Giants' odds are smaller, their path is easier. Simply picking winners by winning percentage — which gives the Giants a 2–1 record, 9–7 for the season — puts the Giants in as the sixth seed. This assumes the Cowboys continue to collapse, by the way. They're still the Giants' main competition for the No. 5 spot.
We worked at it for a while, and we found a scenario that gets both the Jets and the Giants in the playoffs. We even figured out a way to make the Arizona Cardinals the No. 2 seed in the NFC. We're very proud of ourselves.