It may have been lost with the humiliating loss to the Pats but a few other tidbits showing how weak the Jets really are:
They also had a humilaiting loss in being shut out by Green Bay 9-0 which means their 2 biggest losses were by 54-3.
The Pats obviously had a letdown in Cleveland. It's a loss but it represented one down week. In a 5 game stretch the Jets managed to barely beat cannonfodder DET, CLE,DEN,and DET (a combined 15-33 this year) by an average of only 3pts per game... and get shutout by GB.
If ever there was a case where wins and losses didn't show you how bad a team was, that 4-1 stretch is it.
Every year teams in a division have schedules that differ by 2 games called strenght of schedule games. Weaker teams get to face weaker teams for those games and harder teams face harder teams.
The Pats this year drew IND and SD who were a combined 27-5 last year and 13-12 this year. They won both games but only barely by a total of 6pts.
The Jets (despite only being 1 game behind the Pats last year 9-7 versus 10-6) were gifted with MUCH easier games versus Houston and Denver who were only 17-15 last year and a combined losing record of 11-13 this year. Despite this gift the Jets barely squeaked by each team by a total of 7pts. The Jets ought to thank the NFL for even being in the playoff race.............
Frankly all in all the Jets weren't even 'legitimate' going into the Pats game and should not have been hyped up as such. If it weren't for being gifted with 2 weak SOS games and then proceding to barely scrape by 4 bad teams (including those 2) in 5 weeks they'd be 5-7 right now. If you were told the Pats at 9-2 were facing a 5-6 team that got shutout by Green Bay you'd expect a blowout.
Incidentally it's worth noting that despite 7 teams having better records last year it was the Pats who drew the teams with the 2 best 2009 records.
EDIT: as someone mentioned this wasn't a conscious decision of the NFL, just the lunacy of how they base it finish within divisions rather than records.