NY Jets beginning to heat up at the right time

As the NFL regular season begins to wind down and the playoff picture begins to clear up, it's always worth keeping an eye out for the teams that are beginning to heat up.

December is notorious for being the month that makes (and breaks) those playoff bubble teams. The Tony Romo- and Phillip Rivers-in-December jokes always wrote themselves, while other teams would win those overlooked December games and find themselves in the hunt -- even if the playoffs seemed incredibly unlikely just weeks earlier.

The New York Jets are a team that are finding themselves on a tear for now. Just three weeks ago, this team sat at 5-5. Since then, they've polished off three wins in a row, most recently a 30-8 rout of the Tennessee Titans yesterday.

Currently, the Jets hold the sixth seed in the AFC, and they hold a tiebreaker advantage over Pittsburgh and Kansas City (who also hold 8-5 records). Should the playoffs start this week, they would visit Denver.

They also have an interesting schedule to close their regular season out. They'll visit the dismal Dallas Cowboys for a Saturday matchup, will host the Patriots in Week 16, and end their regular season in Buffalo. Winning all three of those games isn't likely, but it doesn't mean the Jets are any less of a threat.

Of course, there is still the possibility of the Jets being eliminated anyway. The Jets can do no worse than an even 8-8 record, but could still miss out on the playoffs (depending on how the Steelers and Chiefs fare).

Whether or not it's a twist of irony, injustice, hilarity or any combination of the three, the Jets very well could miss the playoffs, while teams from the abysmal AFC South and NFC East divisions will get in.

Follow Rob Riches on Twitter @Riches61