After a six-day respite, the New York Jets return to practice Monday to begin what should be a fascinating two months. Unlike the coaches and players, we don't take 'em one at a time. A look at the final seven games, including our fearless prediction: They will go 3-4, finishing with an 8-8 record, missing the second wild-card spot.
at Buffalo Bills (3-7): The Bills have dropped three straight, but their secondary is healthier than it was in Week 3 against the Jets. That could mean trouble for Geno Smith, who torched them in the first meeting. This is a classic letdown game for the Jets, who have yet to win two straight. Prediction: Bills.
at Baltimore Ravens (4-5): Pay no attention to the Ravens' record; this will be a difficult spot for the Jets. The defending Super Bowl champions, who saved their season Sunday with an overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals, still play good defense. They're a physical unit that stops the run, the kind of opponent that causes problems for the Jets. Rex Ryan is 0-2 against his former team, including a 34-17 beatdown in 2011. Prediction: Ravens.
Miami Dolphins (4-4): Who knows where the Dolphins will be by Dec. 1? They could implode in the aftermath of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin controversy or maybe it will galvanize them. Don't bet on it. They're down two starting offensive linemen on a suspect line, meaning Muhammad Wilkerson & Co. could feast on Ryan Tannehill, who already has been sacked 35 times. Prediction: Jets.
Oakland Raiders (3-6): The Raiders dropped their league-high 11 straight game in the Eastern time zone with Sunday's loss to the New York Giants, and now they have to fly back again to face the Jets in Week 14. This makes up for all those years when the Jets had to fly to Oakland. The Raiders aren't a good football team, but QB Terrelle Pryor could cause problems with his running ability. He has rushed for 485 yards, more than anybody on the Jets. Prediction: Jets.
at Carolina Panthers (6-3): I'll take, "Things we never thought we'd see in December" for $1,000, Alex. Yep, it's hard to believe, but Jets-Panthers looms as a meaningful, potentially huge matchup in Week 15. The Panthers are a lot like the Jets: They play good defense and run the ball. The Jets will be looking for a sweep of the NFC South. Mobile Quarterback Month continues, as they face Cam Newton. Prediction: Panthers.
Cleveland Browns (4-5): Surprisingly, the Browns are still hanging around, but it's hard to imagine them staying in the race this long. They're the opposite of the Jets, meaning ultra-streaky. They've already had a three-game winning streak and a three-game losing streak. They've already started three players at quarterback. By Week 16, it might be Bernie Kosar. Prediction: Jets.
at Miami Dolphins (4-4): The last time the Jets finished a season in Miami, things got crazy. (See Santonio Holmes versus Wayne Hunter, 2011.) In this case, the Jets could be playing for -- dare we say it? -- a playoff spot. Prediction: Dolphins.