Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Fan's Guide to Playoff Games

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Fan's Guide to Playoff Games

Article excerpt

Seven long seasons have passed since the Jets last reached the playoffs. It's the second-longest drought in franchise history, and only the Browns and Bucs have current playoff-less streaks that are longer.

But Jets fans can still find a way to enjoy this weekend. No, you don't have to book a last-minute flight to a tropical destination with no television or internet connection. There are several potential future Jets who are in action in the divisional round. Here are our rankings of the best games and what to watch for.

1:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS

Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is the most intriguing player on the field this weekend who is also set to hit free agency later this year. Bell is a dynamic player who will transform any offense. And he's only 25 years old. The Jets are projected to have around $100 million in cap space, so they would be able to afford his steep contract demands -- he turned down a Steelers offer of $14 million per year last offseason.

Sure, Jets brass may not want to spend that kind of money on a running back. But what if they do? Yes, it's OK to picture Bell in green and white next season.

On the other side of the ball, Jags quarterback Blake Bortles is set to become a free agent -- but the Jets already have a project on their hands in Christian Hackenberg, they don't need another. But one intriguing possibility: Jags receiver Marqise Lee. He just turned 26 and has big potential, the kind of guy the Jets might take a chance on.

4:40 p.m. Sunday on FOX

No matter who plays quarterback in this game, there's at least a chance they could be with the Jets in 2018.

Vikings' starter Case Keenum is enjoying the best season of his career and the 29-year-old is set to become a free agent this offseason and certainly could be an option for the Jets — although, a risky one because this is the first year he's excelled.

Minnesota backup Teddy Bridgewater will also hit the open market and will be an intriguing option for the Jets. He's only 26, but is he the same player after that devastating knee injury? Signing him would be a gamble, too. And then there's Sam Bradford, who is set to hit the open market at age 30. …

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