2006_08_sjetslogo.jpgThroughout this season, the Jets have had their ups and downs, but neither extreme has been that severe. They've never strayed more than one game above or below .500, and, except for a 41-0 loss to Jacksonville on Oct. 8, their games have been close either way. Pundits love to toss around "parity" in describing today's NFL, and the Jets have almost perfectly straddled their league's fence.

Unfortunately for the Jets, they don't play in the NFC of 2004 and 2005; they're going to need to distinguish themselves in order to make the playoffs. Every team they play from here on has a losing record. Three of the remaining six games are at home.

If the last two games are any indication, the Jets' defense is good enough to get the team to the playoffs, a goal that will likely require their winning at least five of the six games. But if quarterback Chad Pennington continues to play like he has in recent losses, it won't matter how dominant the defense is. Pennington hasn't been alone in his offensive struggles, but he hasn't risen above the unit's talent shortage since his first two games. He'll need too -- or need some serious help -- if the Jets want to elude the .500 mark.