It’s looking like Week 15 could have been the defining moment for the seasons of both the New York Giants and Jets, as their playoff odds took dramatic swings following the results on Sunday.
The Giants set the tone early with rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux’s strip sack and fumble recovery for a touchdown in the G-Men’s 20-12 win over Washington. It was part of the defensive lineman’s best game as a pro, where he logged 12 tackles and three for a loss.
In winning in their first appearance on Sunday Night Football in over five years, the Giants jumped past the Commanders in the standings and are now a solid second in the NFC Wild Card race, where the top-three teams will make the playoffs.
The Jets, meanwhile, had a heartbreaking 20-17 defeat to the red-hot Detroit Lions in what was a winnable game for NY. The Jets defense, which hadn’t allowed a touchdown all day, had a bad time for a breakdown, allowing a 50-yard touchdown on a 4th and inches play, and they then missed a 57-yard field goal as time expired after some clock mismanagement by head coach Robert Saleh failed to get them closer to the end zone.
The loss sent the Jets into last place in the AFC East, but they aren’t completely finished yet.
We’re taking a look at both team’s fortunes and playoff odds after Week 15.
Giants Now in the Driver’s Seat for a Playoff Berth
After the win at Washington, the Giants essentially have a 1.5-game lead over their nearest contenders thanks to that tie with the Commanders two weeks ago.
|TEAM IN NFC WILD CARD RACE||RECORD||TIEBERAKER NOTES|
|1. Dallas Cowboys||10-4||Own head-to-head tiebreaker over NYG|
|2. New York Giants||8-5-1|
|3. Washington Commanders||7-6-1||NYG owns head-to-head tiebreaker|
|Seattle Seahawks||7-7||Owns head-to-head tiebreaker over NYG|
|Detroit Lions||7-7||Owns tiebreaker over NYG; SEA owns tiebreaker over DET|
Washington plays at NFC West champion San Francisco this week, while the Giants are at NFC Central champ Minnesota. Neither team is favored to win. Seattle, meanwhile, is a 9.5-point underdog at Kansas City, Dallas is a 4.5-point favorite at home against a Philadelphia team that may not have the services of Jalen Hurts, and Detroit is a 3-point favorite on the road at Carolina.
New York can actually clinch a playoff berth if they upset the Vikings and two out of the three teams behind them in the standings lose.
Overall, the Giants’ playoff chances jumped from a toss-up to 88% with Sunday night’s victory. Here is the progression of their playoff odds, courtesy of DraftKings.
|TEAM||CURRENT ODDS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS||ODDS AFTER WEEK 14 (7-5-1)||ODDS AFTER WEEK 7 (6-1)||ODDS AFTER WEEK 4||PRESEASON ODDS|
|New York Giants||-750||-110||-300||+180||+225|
Jets Now 4:1 Underdog in Odds to Make the Playoffs, but Still Possible
Going back to DraftKings, here’s a look at how the Jets’ playoff odds have progressed. The New York Times’ playoff tracker gives them a 27% chance–down from 67% five weeks ago before this 1-4 stretch.
|TEAM||CURRENT ODDS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS||ODDS AFTER WEEK 13 (7-5)||ODDS AFTER WEEK 11 (6-4)|
|New York Jets||+400||-115||+150|
Looking at the standings, however, the AFC Wild Card race is bunched up with teams at 8-6 and 7-7.
|TEAM IN AFC WILD CARD RACE||RECORD||TIEBERAKER NOTES|
|1. Baltimore Ravens||9-5||Own head-to-head tiebreaker over NYJ|
|2. Los Angeles Chargers||8-6|||
|3. Miami Dolphins||8-6||NYJ currently owns head-to-head tiebreaker, teams play in Week 18|
|New England Patriots||7-7||Owns head-to-head tiebreaker over NYJ|
|New York Jets||7-7|
|Jacksonville / Las Vegas / Pittsburgh / Cleveland||6-8||NYJ owns head-to-head wins over PIT and CLE|
The Jets play a hot Jacksonville team that’s coming off wins over Tennessee and Dallas this Thursday night. The Jags are 6-8 and a game behind Tennessee in the AFC South standings, so this is a game neither team can afford to lose.
In Week 17, NYJ plays at Seattle, who is contending for a wild card spot in the NFC, and finish the season at Miami in what could be a big game for both teams.
Expect the picture for the Giants and Jets’ playoff odds to get even clearer after Week 16.