FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The perplexing playoff scenarios are gone, and for a second straight week, the math is simple.
Win and the Jets are in.
"After everything that we've been through this season, to be in this position, it's kind of crazy because we shouldn't be in this position," wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. "But we're just happy about that."
Cincinnati (10-5) already has locked up a home playoff game next week, but unlike Colts coach Jim Caldwell - who benched Peyton Manning (and other starters) with Indy leading 15-10 with 5:36 left in the third quarter of what became a 29-15 win by the Jets - Lewis told the Cincinnati media Wednesday: "It will be another Sunday for us . . . We're going to approach it as a game we need to win."
Jets right tackle Damien Woody said: "With any team that has an opportunity to play in the playoffs, there's going to be a certain amount of luck involved . . . But you earn everything you get in this league; let's make that be known No. 1.
"We've earned the right to be in this position but we've just got to finish the deal and hopefully, we'll be playing in the playoffs . . . There have been other teams that have been in the same position as us and haven't been able to pull it off. So for us to have an opportunity to pull it off two weeks in a row, I think it would show the character of this team."
Said Cotchery: "It's not about focusing on this other stuff - their starters, or the last game at Giants Stadium. It's about winning the game and the game plan that you have to win. You have to focus on doing your job and not on the outside things because that becomes a distraction."
For the sake of their fans, the Jets had better win. After capturing their first three games, losing six of seven to fall to 4-6 and somehow getting back into the playoff picture, the 8-7 Jets have set themselves up for yet another cataclysmic letdown.
But coach Rex Ryan doesn't believe that will happen. "I think pressure can be a positive," he said. "We've put ourselves in this situation. It would have been great to go in and be able to rest guys and treat it as a bye week. We're not that fortunate. We haven't earned that right. We have to play everybody and win this game or we're not in. We'll see, but our guys are focused. Without question, we're going to do everything we can to win this game."
And like his coach, Woody doesn't expect the Jets to fall short. "I just don't see it," he said. "I think guys understand the magnitude of the game. I can only go off what I see, and that's off of guys' preparation and practice and all those types of things.
"The game is a whole different story. You still have to go out and perform between the white lines. But just judging off of what I've seen through the week, I just don't see a letdown happening."