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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Antonio Cromartie says the New York Jets will make the playoffs, and his notoriously bombastic coach was quick to back him up.
"The Jets (3-5) will make the playoffs this year," Cromartie said Thursday morning on the NFL Network's "NFL AM" show. "We believe in each other, we believe in what Coach Ryan and his staff is putting us to schemes and stuff, so we definitely are going to make the playoffs this year."
Rex Ryan, with his team facing two road games in Seattle and St. Louis, agreed with Cromartie's statement.
"This team believes that we can right the ship and we're going for it," Ryan said. "I know Cro had some comments we're going to make the playoffs and all that, and I feel as an entire football team that we should all feel like that, and we do feel like that.
"Nobody wants to hear it, but who cares? That's really how we feel and that's our mentality; whether you like it our not, that's our mentality. And I would think Jets fans and the Jets community, they would want us to feel that way, and we do."
We believe in each other, we believe in what Coach Ryan and his staff is putting us to schemes and stuff, so we definitely are going to make the playoffs this year.” -- Antonio Cromartie, in "NFL AM" interview
Ryan apparently had a change of heart since Monday, when he said, "We're not sniffing the playoffs."
The coach said Thursday that he thought this year's team -- minus cornerback Darrelle Revis and wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who are out with season-ending injuries -- is better than last year's, even. The defensive-minded Ryan said he was trying to be more involved and had even put in a few offensive plays at times.
So can Cromartie's math be right? Statistical website Football Outsiders has the Jets' odds of making the playoffs at 12.4 percent, which includes the 1 percent chance they win their division.
Aside from the Seahawks, the only team with a winning record remaining on the Jets' schedule is the division-rival Patriots on Thanksgiving night.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Jets' first-half schedule was the third-toughest in the NFL, with their opponents boasting a .609 winning percentage. In contrast, their second-half schedule is ranked as the 27th-toughest. The remaining teams on their schedule have a combined winning percentage of .418.