Oakland (2-13) at NY Jets (9-6) Sunday 1:00 pm EST
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) - The New York Jets were
not expected to be part of the postseason party in Eric
Mangini's first season as coach.
With a win over the Oakland Raiders in their regular-season
finale on Sunday, the Jets could clinch an AFC wild-card
After making the playoffs three times in five seasons under
coach Herman Edwards, the Jets are on the cusp of reaching the
playoffs a year after going just 4-12.
The Jets are one game ahead of Kansas City, Cincinnati,
Jacksonville and Tennessee for the final wild-card spot, but
hold the tiebreaker over each team.
Now all the Jets need to do to make the postseason is beat the
Raiders, who are tied with Detroit for the NFL's worst record.
Detroit would get the first pick in April's draft if the teams
end with the same record.
"We need to take care of what's in front of us, and what's in
front of us is the Oakland Raiders," Mangini said. "That's all
our focus has to be on. Anything else after that point we'll
address when and if it happens. The key thing for us is to take
the same consistent approach that we had in Week Six, Week One,
Week 12, that's how we've been able to make progress. That's
how we've been able to be successful and that's not going to
The 35-year-old Mangini - a former defensive coordinator under
Bill Belichick in New England - and quarterback Chad Pennington
have been at the center of the Jets' turnaround.
Pennington's 64-yard completion to rookie running back Leon
Washington set up Mike Nugent's 30-yard field goal with 10
seconds remaining in the Jets' 13-10 victory at Miami on
In Art Shell's return to the sidelines, the Raiders have
endured another awful season.
The Raiders have lost eight straight games and matched the
franchise record for losses in a season set when they went 1-13
in 1962 - the season before Al Davis arrived to coach and
eventually own the team.
The dismal season has led to speculation that Shell could be
fired. He also was fired by Davis following the 1994 season.
The Jets have put themselves in a position for the postseason with another dramatic win on the road versus the Dolphins. The Jets need to take care of business and beat the worst team in the NFL at home to solidify a wild-card spot. The Raiders organization is somewhat in disarray with the future of head coach Art Shell in question. The Raiders have a good defense and won't roll over for the Jets, but their offense has been dreadful. Look for a hungry Jets team to come out playing with great conviction.