As much as I was pulling for the Jets, I think this helps us. The Jets can't be the # 2 if the Pats are #1 (Jets will be the wildcard). Assuming we go 3-1 down the stretch and get the # 2, we avoid the Pats until the AFCC and they may have to deal with someone like Baltimore who matches up better with them (took them to OT earlier in the year).
Not that I want to go to Foxboro if we make it that far, but we'd lose to them at Heinz anyway. May as well avoid them and hope someone else knocks them off.
I agree...I hated every minute of it and even found myself yelling about the terrible play of the Jets until I remembered that I wanted them to lose. It also helps if we somehow end up tied with the Jets for a wild card spot since we still have a possibility of beating them head to head and gaining the tie-breaker.
I had been looking at this as a case of the 5 seed having to play 3 games instead of 2 to get to the SB, and playing on the road. That might not hurt a team like the Pats too much, but had they been the 5 seed, it would have meant one more chance for an upset, one more chance (frankly) for a key injury.
But assuming 1. Jets, 2. Steelers, 3. KC, 4. Jax, 5. NE, and 6. Balty, that would track us to a matchup in week 2 if they beat Jax. Only chance to rearrange that would have been to have us sweep, including a H2H with the Jets, meaning we'd be 1st seed and they'd host NE. In that case, it would likely have been NE v. NYJ and Balty v. Pitt.
As it stands, the seeding is 1. NE (10-2), 2. Pitt (9-3), 3. KC (8-4), 4. Jax (7-5), 5. NYJ (9-3), and 6. Balty (8-4). Suddenly, San Diego has long odds of overcoming KC, and Indy looks pooped, and Houston and Tenn are 2 back too. I have a difficult time envisioning a lot of shakeup to that seeding barring unforeseen collapses somewhere. In the 6 v. 3, Ravens should handle KC. Veteran team in the playoffs, KC is a shaky bid out of a weak sister division. That automatically has Baltimore facing NE, which seems pretty automatic whatever happens in the AFCW or AFCS -- Baltimore should win.
That 6 v. 1 is fine, as Baltimore does match up better with NE, and at the very least can beat them up some. If Balty wins, Ben is 5-0 v. Fucco, so there's that. Another 3-point win, one would hope.
In the 5 v. 4, I still cannot for the life of me take Jacksonville seriously, and I think the Jets bounce back just as we did after the Patriots gave us our dose. That means the Jets game 12/19 could well be a preview of the second week of the playoffs. The AFCE and AFCN trade rivalries before the AFCC showdown.
It's going to take some smarter playcalling, some renewed health, and some fucking luck, but there's a path to the SB and no matter how fugly, it's conceivable. That's all that counts right now.