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Jets can’t afford any mistakes in AFC playoff race

Jets head coach Todd Bowles  leaves the field

Jets head coach Todd Bowles  leaves the field after a 34-21 win against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 2, 2017. Credit: Getty Images / Abbie Parr

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Jets coach Todd Bowles doesn’t offer much during news conferences, but when asked Friday if his team needs to win its remaining six games to reach the postseason, he was brief but said plenty:

“Excuse the language but it’s probably a no [expletive] statement,” he said. “We try to win every game.”

At 4-6, the Jets are on the outside of the AFC playoff picture, just a game-out of the sixth spot, however, the next six games are against some difficult opponents.

Sunday, the Jets face the Panthers, in second place in the NFC South and possess a 4-1 road record. Next week, the Jets host the Chiefs, a first-place team in the AFC West.

“It’s been like that [since] week 1, it didn’t start now,” Bowles said. “It’s been like that Week 1, it’s like that every week. You try to win every ball game and Carolina is up next and it’s a ballgame we’re trying to win we don’t look past the next game so we just looking at Carolina.”

Bowles’ players understand that a loss Sunday could possibly end any playoff hopes and begin discussions about starting younger quarterbacks Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.

It also might shape just what the ownership wants to do with Bowles and the rest of the coaching staff.

Jets CEO/chairman Christopher Johnson said he wants to see progress on the field and wins and losses don’t matter. Yet, Johnson also has said he hates to lose.

“We have to be keyed in every week,” outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. “The whole penalty fiasco we can’t have that. The margin for error was slim then and it’s even less now. We just really can’t afford any mistakes.”

New York Sports