It wasn't supposed to go this way. The New York Jets weren't supposed to beat the Houston Texans on Sunday. Not only that, they weren't supposed to be the Texans the same week the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars also lost. This was supposed to be the week that the Texans took control of their playoff fate, and didn't look back.
Had the Texans won on Sunday, they'd have been in the driver's seat for the AFC South title, matching up with the same record as the Jacksonville Jaguars and sharing a seat at the table for the third home-field slot for the opening round of the playoffs.
But instead, the Texans screwed the pooch, and not only that, but fell back in the standings. The Houston Texans were the seventh playoff team on Friday, sitting just behind the Colts (5th) and the Cleveland Browns (4th) for one of the three Wild Card teams. But then the Texans lost, putting them in the same place as the Pittsburgh Steelers, record-wise.
Now the Texans are 8th, just behind the Steelers, and now share the same record with the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Colts, and the Cincinnati Bengals. The AFC Playoff race just got way too congested, and a simple win over the lowly Jets would've prevented the Texans from being in the bottleneck that has formed below them.
Before, all the Texans needed to do was win out and they'd be in, but right now, that doesn't seem likely. The Texans have the Colts, the Browns, and the Titans twice. We thought the Titans would be gimmies, and with the Browns looking for a quarterback, the team didn't look that imposing. But a loss to the Jets now makes the Titans a very dangerous threat, and Joe Flacco turned back the clock for the Browns, making the next four games very dangerous.
The Titans are a pair of trap games and the Browns and Colts are playing like playoff teams right now. The Texans are a game out of the playoffs and the once easy stretch of schedule is now infinitely more harder. And that's not even factoring in the injury to rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud.