Everybody can use a helping hand now and again, and the New York Jets are no exception. Neither are the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.
Those teams secured postseason berths Sunday thanks to helping hands from three other teams. The move-the-chain reactions gave an AFC wild-card berth to the Jets, the AFC West title to the Chiefs and the NFC East crown to the Eagles.
Even though the Jets lost at Chicago, 38-34 — their third defeat in four games — they were handed a wild-card spot when Washington beat Jacksonville in overtime.
“By the way, I think we’re in the playoffs,” a giddy Rex Ryan said when he heard a huge roar from the Jets’ locker room — confirmation the Jaguars had lost — in the middle of his postgame news conference. “God dog, hey! It ain’t the way I wanted it, but I’ll take it!”
In Kansas City, the Chiefs clinched their first AFC West title in eight years, but not just because they rolled over Tennessee, 34-14. To clinch a week early the Chiefs needed Cincinnati to upset San Diego, and the Bengals did, 34-20, slamming the door on a team that had won the West four years in a row.