It's official: Elimination game for Jets

December, 14, 2012
12/14/12
6:21
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Bengals' win over the Eagles Thursday night moved the Jets one step closer to the brink.

If they lose Monday night to the Titans, it's over. They'd be eliminated from playoff contention, regardless of what happens Sunday, according to the NFL.

Rex Ryan said he glanced at the Bengals-Eagles game, but didn't watch the end. He said it didn't change his approach.

"Our whole thing is, it's all about (Tennessee)," Ryan said. "I've said it the last several weeks, it's just about what we have to do, and that's to find a way to beat Tennessee. That's where our entire focus is."

Several players, including DT Mike DeVito, said they were under the assumption that Monday night was an elimination game no matter what.

"That's kind of the mentality we've had this whole time," he said. "We recognize we have to win out to have any chance."

The Jets (6-7), Bengals (8-6) and Steelers (7-6), in all likelihood, are battling for the final wild-card spot. An 8-8 record wouldn't cut it for the Jets; they need to be 9-7 to have any chance.

Here's why:

The Bengals and Steelers meet each other next week. If the Steelers lose Sunday to the Cowboys but beat the Bengals, they'd have eight wins -- and they own a tiebreaker over the Jets based on their Week 2 victory. If the Bengals defeat the Steelers, they'd have nine wins.

If the Jets, Steelers and Bengals all finish 8-8, the Steelers would get the wild-card spot because of tiebreakers over the Bengals and Jets.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter
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