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Muhammad Wilkerson backs up Antonio Cromartie on playoff prospects

Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson during training camp.

Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson during training camp. (July 29, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Well, that didn't take long.

Antonio Cromartie's playoff guarantee may have caught people by surprise on Thursday, but his coach and teammates have followed his lead.

Though Rex Ryan has been careful not to guarantee anything, his players have had no problems predicting a postseason berth even though the Jets are 3-5 going into Sunday's game at Seattle.

"Yes, we will be playing postseason football this year," Muhammad Wilkerson said on WFAN. "I can back up Antonio Cromartie's comment."

The Jets are realistic. They know it will be an uphill climb the rest of the way. But it's not an impossible feat. And that is reason enough to be confident.

"At the end of the day, it's simple: You've just gotta believe," said Wilkerson, a second-year defensive end. "We all believe in each other. We know people get on us in the media and whatnot, but we really just gotta believe in ourselves, and just pray and hope that all the Jets fans just back us up and just believe in us."

Ryan, no stranger to boasting, said: "We know the task is a huge task in front of us. Again, this is how the team thinks. We're down, but we're certainly not out. We have half of our season in front of us and we're attacking it with the mentality that we are going to make the playoffs. We are confident in ourselves."

Wilkerson didn't stop at just guaranteeing a playoff spot. The Jets have 12 sacks in the first eight games, which ranks 29th in the NFL. Nevertheless, he said the Jets will be able to get into the head of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.

"We're going to get this guy rattled," Wilkerson said of Wilson, whose 120.2 home-field passer rating is tops among NFL quarterbacks. "We know they're 4-0 at home, but we're not worried about what's going on over there in Seattle. We can only worry about what the Jets do."

Defensive end Quinton Coples, who played against Wilson in college, said: "He's done pretty well at home, but we've got some stuff in the game plan that we do feel comfortable and confident in that we'll rattle him."

Notes & quotes: DT Kenrick Ellis (knee) and RB/KR Joe McKnight (ankle) are out. Ryan expects all of the players listed as questionable to play, including LB Bart Scott (toe) and RB Bilal Powell (shoulder) . . . Ryan will wear a cap that says "NJ/NY STRONG" on the sideline Sunday. The Jets made a $500,000 donation for superstorm Sandy relief on Thursday.

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