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Jets get much-needed help in playoff hunt

Jets head coach Rex Ryan, left, talks with

Jets head coach Rex Ryan, left, talks with defensive back Ellis Lankster during a timeout in the first half. (Dec. 9, 2012) Credit: AP

The Jets still need help in their improbable race to the playoffs. But in just one day, they got a ton of help.

Rex Ryan’s twin brother Rob (Dallas' defensive coordinator) did him a solid Sunday, as the Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-24, in overtime. Earlier in the day, the Colts lost to the Texans, 29-17, on the road. Both of those final scores helped the Jets, who trail Pittsburgh (7-7), Indianapolis (9-5) and Cincinnati (8-6) in the hunt for a wild-card spot. 

The Jets (6-7) have won three of their past four games. But if they don't win out, all of this is moot.

They have their toughest challenge Monday night in Tennessee, where they’ll face a Titans team that is far better than their 4-9 record indicates. If the Jets can escape with a road-win without Dustin Keller, Stephen Hill and Bryan Thomas, they’ll close out the season against the Chargers (who have lost five of the past six) and the Bills -- teams that are both 5-9.

The Steelers, Colts and Bengals don’t have as favorable of schedule in the final two weeks.

* Cincinnati, which defeated the Eagles, 34-13, on Thursday night, close out the season at the Steelers and against the Ravens (Ouch).

* The Steelers finish the season with two home games: the Bengals in Week 16, then the Browns.

* The Colts play the Kansas City Chiefs on the road before returning home to face the Texans in the season-finale.

New York Sports