Three weeks ago, on the heels on a two-game losing streak punctuated by a dose of Tim Tebowmania, the Jets were a down bunch, unsure of their postseason possibilities.
Now, after having beaten the Chiefs on Sunday, the 8-5 Jets leapfrogged Cincinnati, Tennessee and Oakland, all 7-6 after losses, and took over the last wild-card spot in the AFC.
"It's just what we've been talking about for the last 12, 13 weeks," linebacker Calvin Pace said. "It all came to form [Sunday], which is what we needed. We kind of hold our own destiny in our hands, and it was about getting a good win."
Holding onto that playoff spot won't be easy, and the Jets know it. They play the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, the Giants on Christmas Eve and then at Miami in the regular-season finale. Win them all, though, and they'll be in the postseason for the third straight year under coach Rex Ryan.
"Our goal has always been to go to the Super Bowl," left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson said. "This year is no different. The season has kind of had ups, and the season has kind of had downs. But we're still fighting to get there. That's the original goal, and we're sticking to it."
Said Ryan, "The only thing we're focused on is us. We're not worried about anybody else. I've said it for the last three weeks. I know it's a broken record, but it's the truth."
Health check. Defensive lineman Mike DeVito returned to practice on a limited basis after missing two games because of a sprained left knee, and Ryan said he expects him to play Sunday against the Eagles.
Running back Joe McKnight, the league's leading kickoff returner, was a full participant Wednesday after sitting out Sunday's 37-10 win over Kansas City with a hyperextended right elbow.
Right guard Brandon Moore did not practice, as expected, after not participating all last week because of a sore hip. Ryan said Moore, who played Sunday, will practice a little more Thursday and should be a full go Friday.
Defensive back and special-teams ace Marquice Cole also didn't practice after injuring a knee Sunday.
Alexander added. The Jets signed veteran safety Gerald Alexander, adding depth to the position two days after Jim Leonhard was lost for the season because of a knee injury.
Alexander, a former second-round pick of Detroit in 2007, was waived by Miami last month after spending last season with Carolina and Jacksonville. He was traded by the Lions to the Jaguars in 2009. The 27-year-old Alexander has 159 tackles, four interceptions and two sacks in parts of five NFL seasons.
Leonhard tore the patellar tendon in his right knee after making an interception Sunday.