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The Jets Still Have Some Games to Play, Alas

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 30:  Mark Sanchez #6 (L) and Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets stand on the sidelines during their preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on August 30, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

As much as it might seem the case — and as soothing as the concept might be to pained fans — the Jets' season did not, in fact, end on Thanksgiving night. Mark Sanchez fumbling after going face-first into his offensive lineman's posterior was not the final moment of the season, even if it seems like the perfect distillation of it. Nope, the Jets still have five games to play.

All told, the Jets have an awfully easy schedule to finish out the season, something that might have come in handy had they not been so terrible in the first eleven games. Heck, even one more win would have put the Jets in perfect position for a playoff run. Here's the Jets schedule the rest of the way:

versus Arizona
at Jacksonville
at Tennessee
versus San Diego
at Buffalo

A good team would be expected to win all five of those games. Of course, each of those five teams is saying, "Hey, we get the Jets this weekend, we have a chance to win for once." So there is also that.

It begins with Arizona this weekend, a team that's in a far worse freefall than the Jets. After winning their first four games of the season — including a thrilling win at New England — the Cardinals have lost their last seven games. The issue has been the same as it has been since Kurt Warner retired: The Cardinals have absolutely horrible quarterbacks. Sports Section fave John Skelton was officially benched two weeks ago, high-priced free agent Kevin Kolb has been hurt for a month, and current starter Ryan Lindley was a sixth-round draft pick and has the worst quarterback rating in the NFL, for players with more than 25 passes. (A grouping that doesn't include Tim Tebow, by the way.) Poor Larry Fitzgerald. As ESPN points out, the future Hall of Famer has "been under or overthrown on the highest percentage of targets among qualified NFL players."

The Cardinals' defense is good though, especially for a group that's always dealing with an offensive that's historically awful. (How bad has it been for the Cardinals' defense? They forced six turnovers against Atlanta ... and still lost.) Mark Sanchez and the Jets can probably get away with some mistakes this game and still win, though this would seem to be a game to run the ball like crazy and wait for the Cardinals to make a bunch of turnovers themselves. The Jets might very well be facing a team in worse shape than they are on Sunday. So that's handy.

You know, there still is a chance the Jets make the playoffs. Here's a not-crazy scenario if they won their last five games. There's even a way they get in at 8–8, if you're feeling loopy. But for now, one win at a time. The Jets need a week not to be a disaster. Jets 23, Cardinals 13.

Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images