The Rundown: Are the Heavens Opening?


Yesterday Rex Ryan confessed that there’s a little bit of schadenfeude that comes with this time of the season, especially when your team is 6-6 and scratching for the playoffs is just focusing on the game ahead, not what other teams are doing.

Sure, a few teams in the AFC playoff mix lost and helped improve the Jets’ chances, but Ryan isn’t concerned about all that, right?

“All I’m worried about is this next game that we play,” Ryan said Monday. “That’s where the entire focus is – as far as anybody knows.”

Then came a laugh and an admission.

“It was like, “Whoa!’ ” Ryan said, his true feelings bursting out. “To think that I wasn’t cheering for the Oakland Raiders against Pittsburgh, OK, I’ll admit it, I was cheering for Oakland. Tonight, as much as I love the Ravens and all the people there, I’ll be cheering for Green Bay. It’s that time of year.”

Yep, when every loss counts and your playoff status can improve while you’re sitting home watching games on TV.

“I was watching games yesterday and I saw that New England lost,” right tackle Damien Woody said. “Pittsburgh lost and hopefully Baltimore loses. Things are really falling our way for us, but first and foremost, we’ve got to handle our business and keep winning ballgames. If we do that, I think good things will happen for us.”

After last night, the door opened a little wider for the Jets on account of the Ravens loss on Monday Night.

Green Bay won for the fourth time in a row and improved to 8-4 after Monday night’s game, matching Philadelphia for the last two National Conference playoff berths with the New York Giants one game behind.

Baltimore fell to 6-6, dropping level with Pittsburgh, Miami and the New York Jets with all of them one game behind Jacksonville for the last American Conference playoff spot.

In a mess of a game played in cold conditions, the teams combined for 310 yards in penalties whistled, matching the second-largest total in any game in NFL history.

Now, there’s a number of teams at 6-6 (Baltimore, Miami, NY Jets, Pittsburgh) with just two teams above them for Wildcard spots, Denver at 8-4, while Jacksonville sits at 7-5. The Jets will still need to win out to have a chance, but this was a good weekend to at least keep the games for the Jets competitive for the coming weeks.

[CBS Sports Playoff Race]