The message in every AFC East locker room is the same this week for different reasons. It’s not just about how you start, but it’s also about how you finish.
The Bills didn’t finish a game the way they would have liked. The Dolphins need a strong finish to keep the Madness in Miami going. The Patriots now have life but every game is a must-win as they finish the season. Meanwhile, will the Jets finish the season as spoilers or will they cruise to the first overall draft spot in 2021?
New England Patriots 4-5:
It seems like every time the Patriots are counted out, Bill Belichick and company find a way to succeed. The Patriots defeated reigning MVP Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens 23-17 to keep their postseason hopes alive. The weather might have played a factor in helping New England win as the Patriots handled the torrential downpour much better than the Ravens did.
Next up for the Patriots:
At 4-5, the Patriots’ chances at the division are slim. However, there remains a chance. This week, New England will take on the disappointing (2-7) Houston Texans. After beating the Ravens, one would think this would be an easy win for the Patriots. Nonetheless, New England has been wildly inconsistent. Deshaun Watson is still a premier quarterback in this league and that might be enough to stymy the Patriots. This like many of New England’s remaining games are must-wins.
Buffalo Bills 7-3:
It just might be the play of the year but unfortunately for the Bills, it was executed by the opposing team. The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Bills 32-30 on a last-second Hail Mary where DeAndre Hopkins was triple-teamed but still managed to come down with the ball. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs made big plays in this game all the way to the end. Arizona just made one more. This loss hurt in a tight AFC East race.
Next up for the Bills:
New York Jets 0-9:
Next up for the Jets:
The Jets will travel to Los Angeles to take on the (2-7) Chargers. The good news for the Jets is they have an opponent that only has two wins. The bad news is the Chargers are the best two-win team in the NFL. The Chargers have lost more games by eight points or less than any team, including their Week 10 loss to Miami. The Jets played their best game of the season before the bye-week. It will be interesting to see if they build on that coming out of the bye.
Miami Dolphins 6-3:
The Dolphins are by far the hottest team in the AFC East. Miami has now won five straight games after defeating the Chargers 29-21. The Dolphins continue to get great performances in all three phases. Miami currently holds the sixth playoff seed but the division title is definitely within reach. With the win, the Dolphins have also surpassed their 2019 win total.
Next up for the Dolphins:
The Dolphins are on the road to take on the (3-6) Denver Broncos. The Broncos have been struggling with consistency at quarterback and poor defensive play. The Broncos have given up over 30 points in the last four games. Their offense is not good enough to make up for that. That could be a recipe for disaster going up against a Dolphins team that is playing well. If Miami wins this game, they will be tied with the Buffalo Bills for the division lead after starting the season 1-3.