For the first time in the 2015 NFL season, a game is scheduled for Saturday night when the New York Jets visit the Dallas Cowboys. Without a regular season slate of college football games, there will be NFL games on four separate days in Week 15.
It’s been a disappointing season for the Cowboys, who have gone 4-9 and are all but eliminated from the NFC East race. The Jets have already doubled their win total from last season, and an 8-5 record has them in the playoff picture. But even though the team holds the No.6 seed in the AFC, a loss on Saturday could mean the end of their postseason hopes.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers are also 8-5, and because of tiebreaker scenarios, they would both be in the postseason over the Jets at 11-5. New York has to hope that both Kansas City and Pittsburgh falter at least once over the next three weeks as they look to go perfect.
“We definitely have to win out, and that still may not be good enough,” Jets head coach Todd Bowles said via the New York Post. “We’re going to try to win all our games. As long as we’re getting better by the game, I’ll be happy about that.”
Pittsburgh faces the Denver Broncos in Week 15 and Kansas City hosts the Oakland Raiders to end the season, but both contending teams have games remaining with the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns, who might be the AFC’s worst two teams. After facing the Cowboys, New York has to deal with the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills.
New York is a 3.5-point road favorite in Dallas, and they’ve taken care of all the bad teams they’ve faced this season. The Jets are 5-0 against teams that have five wins or fewer, winning all but one of those contests by 13 points or more. New York defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars by five points.
Dallas is 1-8 in games that Tony Romo hasn’t played in, and Matt Cassel is about to make his seventh start this season. He hasn’t thrown for 300 yards in a game yet, and he probably won’t reach that mark at all this season. Dez Bryant is playing in his eighth game since injuring his foot in Week 1, but he hasn’t been much of a factor, catching just 27 passes for 351 yards on the year.
"I think he's not looked the same since he had his foot injury, but he's still a playmaker as well,” Jets safety Calvin Pryor said of Bryant, via espn.com. “Any time you have an injury, it's kind of hard to bounce back, but he's still doing what he does."
Kickoff is set for 8:25 p.m. ET on the NFL Network. Fans can watch a free live stream online at nflnonline.nfl.com.