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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) looks up from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Miami. You cannot escape him.

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The Jets’ Playoff ‘Charge’ Continues Tonight

Every time the Jets are mentioned in national discussions of the NFL these days, it's either: (a) a reference to Mark Sanchez running into his lineman's arse; (b) someone yelling "TEBOWWWWWWWW!" out a moving car window; or (c) a joke about the Jets still having a chance to make the playoffs. But one should be clear about this: They have an excellent shot. Really.

The Jets, who travel to Tennessee for "Monday Night Football" tonight on ESPN, don't exactly control their own destiny yet, but they're awfully close. Check it out: With the Steelers' loss to the Cowboys yesterday, it got frighteningly simple for the Jets to make the playoffs. They have to win out, of course, games at Tennessee tonight, home against San Diego next week, and at Buffalo in Week 17, and then they merely need Cincinnati to beat Pittsburgh next week and lose to Baltimore in Week 17. (They can also have Cincinnati lose next week and have Pittsburgh lose to Cleveland in Week 17.) That might sound like a lot — particularly the Jets Winning Out part — but it's certainly not much when you consider we're talking about the freaking Jets here.

(Also, almost every Jets playoff scenario has them playing the Patriots in the first round, which would be hilarious.)

But of course the Jets must win tonight first. A loss (perhaps mercifully?) would officially eliminate them. Even though the Titans are 4-9, they're not completely helpless; they even wiped out Miami 37-3 on the road this year. (The Jets lost at home 30-9 to Miami.) As usual, the Jets will just try to ram Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell down the opponent's throat and then beg Mark Sanchez not to turn the ball over a ton. That has worked for a couple of weeks now, kinda. The Titans don't have the strongest run defense, but they have big play potential on offense with Chris Johnson. As much as Chris Johnson might frustrate fantasy football owners, the Jets don't have anyone like Chris Johnson on their team.

It's tempting to pick the Titans to give the Jets' season a bit of a mercy kill. And if the Jets are going to flame out once and for all, it makes sense that it would happen on "Monday Night Football," with everyone watching. (This also reeks of a potential Tebow game, though hey: they all have.) We just think the Jets have one more dead-cat bounce left in them. Heck, maybe they have three. Jets 20, Titans 13.

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Photo: Lynne Sladky/AP/Corbis