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Sunday’s Panthers game is a must-win – for the Jets

Dan Dierdorf, the Pro Football Hall of Fame lineman and long-time CBS announcer, says Sunday’s New York Jets-Carolina Panthers matchup is a must-win – for the Jets.

Dierdorf, in his final year of calling games, will partner with Greg Gumble to call the Jets-Panthers game this week.

“In terms of the gravity of this one game, it’s completely different for the two teams,” Dierdorf said in a CBS press release. “Obviously the Carolina Panthers have more margin for error than do the Jets. If the Panthers lose, they will be 9-5 and still very much in it. If the Jets lose, it’s pretty much over. Mathematically they will be alive and still have a heartbeat, but it will be a faint one. This is going to be a huge task for the Jets.”

The Jets (6-7) are ninth in the AFC and are fighting for the final wild card, which is held by the 7-6 Ravens. But Miami (7-6) and San Diego (6-7, but holding the tiebreaker over the Jets) are also ahead of New York. And a poor 3-7 record against AFC competition won’t help the Jets in a tiebreaker scenario.

Rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said this week he’s aware the Jets essentially have to win out to have a hope for a playoff spot.

“Most definitely, just to have a chance too,” he said. “So, got to depend on a few people to lose, but it’s a playoff mentality team though.”

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