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With playoffs still in the picture, Jets must focus on this game and not the future

Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) celebrates with teammate

Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) celebrates with teammate Brent Qvale after a touchdown run against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Credit: Jim McIsaac

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Sunday’s game for the Jets is about making a playoff run, maybe a last chance at it.

Their 4-6 record doesn’t offer much hope but their next two games are at MetLife Stadium, against likely playoff-bound teams in the Panthers Sunday and Chiefs the Sunday after.

“I think in this league, in November and December, you just want to have a shot and play meaningful games,” linebacker Demario Davis said. “And the fact that we are, shows we’re in a good spot and it’s only going to get tougher down the stretch; each week those games make it more and more. This one is the most important to us and you have to be ready and we got a tough challenge on Sunday and we got to be lights out.”

Last weekend, losses by Buffalo (5-5), Miami (4-6), Tennessee (6-4) and Oakland (4-6) kept the Jets’ playoff hopes alive, as remote as they are.

“All the other stuff will take care of itself, as far as what other teams are doing,” quarterback Josh McCown said. “Our main focus is just us. It has to be. If you start looking around, you start making allowances for things or you start saying, ‘If this happens and that happens,’ you just go take care of your business and that is the best way to approach it.”

The Jets have been inconsistent at taking care of their own business.

Following a three-game winning streak, which gave them a 3-2 record for the season, a three-game losing streak included blowing two double-digit leads and a fourth-quarter advantage. It put them in a tailspin.

The Jets snapped the losing streak with a convincing 34-21 victory over the Bills on Nov. 2. But with a chance to reach .500, the Jets lost at Tampa, 15-10, on Nov. 12. It was a bitter loss for the Jets who harbored thoughts of a playoff challenge in the AFC. Instead, the Jets went into their bye week having lost four of five.

Yet just being in this situation is a surprise for the Jets, who were not expected to do as well as they have.

Now comes Sunday’s game against the Panthers (7-3), who are in second place in the NFC South. Carolina has won its last three games and are 4-1 on the road.

The Jets know this is a difficult game, but it beats the alternative: They could be the Browns, who are 0-10.

“I saw something where Cleveland at 0-10 with X amount of things [can still make the playoffs], so I guess you have to feel pretty good at 4-6,” McCown said, joking. “But you can only control what is in front of you and that is the main thing for us as a team — just focusing on Carolina this week, the next practice tomorrow and what you can do to get better and get ready to go. That’s the key.”

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