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Starting Thursday vs. Broncos, Jets Schedule is Looking Better, Until Playoffs…

As the Jets enter into the second half of their season, the worst part of their schedule is over.  Unfortunately, the Jets will have to beat some of those teams that dominated them during the first half of the season, which doesn't bode well for their Superbowl hopes. (Photo courtesy of

So the Jets (5-4) will be facing the Denver Broncos (4-5) on Thursday Night. Is this a “must win” game for both teams?

Absolutely. The Jets are legitimate Superbowl contenders, and the Broncos have a shot at making the playoffs.

Be serious – the Jets playoff hopes are on the line this week, no? 

Well, let’s see – Rex Ryan is convinced that the Jets division rival New England Patriots are already the superior team of the AFC East, so I guess that the Jets playoff hopes are already diminished. Pittsburgh and Baltimore are both superior to the Jets, so there goes one wild card berth. And then there is another wild-card berth, right now belonging to the 6-3 Cincinnatti Bengals, whose still relatively unsung QB Andy Dalton is easily outplaying Fed-EX advertisement and GQ cover boy Mark Sanchez.

So, it looks like that line is already snipped.

Ahem – did you look at the Jets remaining regular season schedule?

Ah, as with life, I take the football season one game at a time. But, yes, looking at the schedule, it seems like there was a nicely supplied first aid kit awaiting the Jets just as soon as as they were horse whipped by the Patriots 37-16 last week. Look at this bounty: Denver, Buffalo (falling apart), Redskins (they’re done), KC Chiefs (well, if the Jets can’t beat a 7-9ish team, perhaps it’s better they miss the playoffs than do face some serious), the Eagles followed by the Giants (looks like 1-1 to me), and the Miami Dolphin (they stink, win). So, if the Jets actually play to their potential, that’s an 11-5 record, which most likely is a wild-card berth followed by yet another sweet three road-game gauntlet to the Super Bowl.

What do you mean by “if the Jets actually play to their potential?” Do we even know what the Jets “potential” is anymore?

Good point, I really have no clue. They look like a 12-4 team some quarters, and a 5-11 team during others. I guess that balances out to 17-15, or given a 16-game season, a 9-7 team. However, with a remaining soft schedule, the Jets can just flirt with their potential – which they are really, really good at – and still finish at 11-5 (playoff lock) or 10-6 (most likely sufficient for a berth).

OK, quit stalling and talk about this weeks’ game. What are the “key factors” to look for in this Thursday’s contest?

Well, if Denver Broncos cult QB Tim Tebow’s game is really divinely preordained – and last week’s 2-8 performance of which one of Tebow’s lone compete passes went for a touchdown is about as miraculous as things get in the NFL – then really, there are no factors to discuss. Somehow, Denver will win, all analysis notwithstanding.

However, if you choose to subscribe to the notion that Tim Tebow is just a tough competitor brimming with optimism but equipped with an ultimately mediocre skill set, then the Jets should look at this as a “pride” contest, i.e., trounce the over-hyped cult QB and stomp him down a couple of notches on the NFL totem pole.

On the offense, expect Sanchez play some nice, cruise control football with lots of short passes and what not. Expect Shonn Greene to look like a starting running back for a change.

Sum up Rex Ryan in one sentence.

Rides the tide of high fortune as charismatically as any head coach I’ve ever seen; handles losses as do many children who we all know.

Anything else?

Yeah – of that panel of car salesmen from The Daily News who share their NFL football picks once a week, all of them will choose the Jets to win Thursday night, but only some of them can be trusted.

About Argun M. Ulgen

When I was young, my dad and I used to watch a lot of MSG midnight replays of Knicks basketball after he came home from work. One night at 1am we grilled steaks and watched the Knicks somehow hold onto a 4th quarter lead. Sometime later, I started to fall in love with reading all sorts of literature, including sports books.The dawning of this romance came soon after my deep relationships with HBO reruns of its fine series programming, not to mention the Encore channel's more than generous replays of Scarface, came to a close. I write, but only when I don't feel like being idle. Feel free to AIM me at YoProtein (that's "Yo, Protein!") with comments or suggestions about my work. I more than welcome feedback.

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