Jets win a clunker, keep pace in the AFC wild-card race

 
 

There's not much about the New York Jets' victory against the Dallas Cowboys and Kellen Moore,their fourth quarterback this season, that will go in the Jets' 2015 highlight film.

But it ensures the Jets will remain at least tied for a wild-card spot in the AFC, and that's all that matters.

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The Jets dodged a playoff-damaging loss on Saturday. (AP)

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was up and down all Saturday night, stood in against the rush and hit Kenbrell Thompkins for a huge 43-yard gain in the final minute, setting up a 40-yard field goal with 36 seconds left to give the Jets a 19-16 win. The Jets came in with an 8-5 record, the same as theKansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jets, Chiefs and Steelers were tied for the two AFC wild-card spots with three games left.

The result of Saturday's game didn't matter a ton as far as the Jets and the Steelers are concerned. The Steelers will get a wild-card spot over the Jets if they win out. The win does allow the Jets to at least keep pace with the Chiefs, which could come into play if the Chiefs lose down the stretch. All the Jets can do is keep winning and hope for the best. 

Losing to a 4-10 Cowboys team (they were officially eliminated from the playoffs, by the way) with Moore getting his first NFL action, after Matt Cassel was so bad he got benched, wouldn't have been great for the Jets' confidence. And the Jets were sluggish for most of the night, letting the Cowboys hang around all game. The Jets took a 16-13 lead on Eric Decker's 3-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, then the Cowboys tied it up on Dan Bailey's late 50-yard field goal that caromed off the upright and in. But Fitzpatrick came up with the one big play the Jets needed, hitting Thompkins as he streaked down the sideline.

The Jets are getting the most out of their roster this year, and a 9-5 record with two games to go is a testament to the job first-year coach Todd Bowles has done. The win didn't put the Jets into the playoffs or anything, but it didn't hurt. They're still in the mix with two games to go.

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