Last week we looked at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ chances to go undefeated this season. The Steelers won their 11th game yesterday, as we predicted, so they’re one step closer now. Meanwhile, we have a new question: Can the New York Jets join the 2008 Detroit Lions and the 2017 Cleveland Browns as the only 0-16 teams in NFL history?
The Jets are 0-11 right now, and it’s getting dangerous for them with a mere five games left on the schedule. They are by far the worst team in the league, scoring just 152 points this season while giving up 322 points. The minus-170 scoring differential is 62 points worse than the next-least team (Dallas Cowboys). Plus, the road ahead is very difficult for New York.
Here are the five games left on the Jets schedule:
- Las Vegas Raiders: With a 6-5 record, the Silver & Black come to the Big Apple with a 75-percent chance of winning. The Raiders need the win to stay relevant in the AFC playoff chase, so we expect them to take care of business in this one, even though Las Vegas looked terrible last weekend against the Atlanta Falcons.
- Seattle Seahawks: Leading the NFC West with an 8-3 mark, the Seahawks are tougher out at home, where the Jets will have to travel in Week 14. Seattle has a 90-percent chance to win this game, and the Seahawks are quite zeroed in on another postseason appearance this season with perennial MVP candidate Russell Wilson at quarterback.
- Los Angeles Rams: Staying on the Best Coast for a week, perhaps, the Jets will next play at the Rams stadium in Week 15. Los Angeles is one game behind the Seahawks in the NFC West, so the team won’t want to lose their 88-percent chance of winning against New York in this one.
- Cleveland Browns: Back at home on the Least Coast for Week 16 matchup against Cleveland, the Jets won’t see the schedule cutting them any slack. The Browns are 8-3 and chasing down a postseason berth for the first time (perhaps) since 2002. Cleveland won’t drop the ball on this one, especially with Pittsburgh as the final game on its schedule. The Browns have a 79-percent chance to win.
- New England Patriots: The good news is that the Pats aren’t the same Pats we’ve been used for many years. The bad news is that the Jets have to travel to play 5-6 New England on the road. Right now, the odds favor the Patriots here, giving them an 83-percent chance to win.
The math is both complex and simple here: The Jets have a 39-percent chance of losing all five games, and the combined record of these five remaining opponents is 34-21. In essence, New York has a better chance of going winless than Pittsburgh has of going undefeated. Keep that in mind.
We could see the Jets beating the Raiders, in truth, and then that would end this discussion. Las Vegas is not playing well, and New York could be primed for the upset. However, we won’t bet against the Silver & Black on this one. We definitely see the Jets losing to Seattle, L.A., and Cleveland, however. That leaves the final game in New England: Does Bill Belichick want to lose that one? No. This is very real for New York: 0-16.
Considering the NFL switched to a 16-game schedule in 1978, it took 30 years for a team to go winless. It then happened again within a decade. Now, it could occur just a few years later, one more time. It will take someone smarter than us to figure out why going 0-16 is becoming more probable than ever before in the NFL.
(After all, this is supposed to be an era of competitive balance … oh wait.)