Who would have thought at the beginning of the 2013 NFL season that the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets would be making a serious run for the playoffs? After Week 9, it definitely looks like it, with both teams getting big wins over the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, respectively.

The Panthers were able to torch a depleted Falcons squad, 34-10, as they got their fourth straight win. Carolina now stands at 5-3, and are only one game back in the NFC South division behind the New Orleans Saints.

Speaking of the Saints, the Jets defeated them in a surprising upset today in a 26-20 victory. The Jets, however, are an interesting team. Though they are 5-4 on the year right now, it's been an up-and-down season for them. They win one game, but then they lose the next. Actually, that's how Geno Smith has been playing this season. When he has a good game, New York wins. When he's bad, the Jets lose.

Both teams make a serious bid for the playoffs, but it will be a bit tougher for the Jets to do so. However, they are only one game behind the Patriots right now as it stands in the AFC East. They can move much closer if the Pittsburgh Steelers can upset them today.

Other teams that make a case are also the Tennessee Titans. The Titans were once leading the AFC South division at 3-1, but they were also tied with the Indianapolis Colts. Along with that, they lost three straight games after that. With a 28-21 win over the St. Louis Rams today, they now stand at 4-4.

Tennessee will have to get really lucky to make the playoffs as a Wild Card, as other teams like the Jets, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos or Kansas City Chiefs (depends who wins the AFC West division) and San Diego Chargers in their way.

Looking at it right now, the Panthers stand the best chance of making the playoffs when stacked up next to the Jets and Titans. Carolina has been very impressive in 2013, and Cam Newton is having one hell of a year in this third season. They are currently red-hot right now on the year, and have the tools to be a dangerous threat in the postseason.

What do you think? Are the Panthers and Jets playoff-bound? 

By Josh Dhani


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