Like a polaroid, the AFC East picture got a little bit clearer this week. Only one team was victorious and that might have been just enough to put this race out of reach.
New England Patriots 6–7
The Patriots lost to the Rams, 24-3, and we might have witnessed the end of an era. The chances at the division title were slim to none before this game, but now playoff aspirations are also slipping away. New England was dominated in this game. Cam Newton was ineffective, passing for 119 yards and one interception.
Next up for the Patriots:
The Patriots take on the Dolphins (8-5) on Sunday in an AFC East grudge match. New England dealt Miami their only double-digit loss of the season in the season-opener. The 21-11 victory was also the least amount of points the Dolphins have scored in a game this season.
New England would love to sweep the Dolphins. And doing so not only keeps their season alive, but it would make the road to the playoffs much more difficult for Miami. Bill Belichick makes rookie quarterbacks look like they don’t belong in this league, so this will be a tough test for Tua Tagovailoa.
Buffalo Bills 10–3
The Bills got one step closer to the AFC East title. Buffalo defeated the former No. 1 seeded Steelers, 26-15. Stefon Diggs proved why he was the missing piece for the Bills. Buffalo’s offense struggled initially, then Diggs took over catching everything that came his way. He finished with 130 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Next up for the Bills:
The Bills will travel to Denver to take on the Broncos (5-8) on Saturday. Denver has owned the AFC East so far this season. They can complete the sweep of the division with a win over the Bills. Regardless, Buffalo is the favorite in this game. A win would officially clinch a playoff berth for the Bills and wrap up the division title also.
New York Jets 0–13
The Jets lost 40-3 to the Seahawks. New York was expected to lose, but they found a new way to display futility this week. Jets kicker Sergio Castillo missed three field goals. As a result, this game was out of reach by halftime.
Next up for the Jets:
The Jets head to Los Angeles to take on the Rams (9-4). This feels like loss number 14 as the Jets are not expected to have an answer for Aaron Donald and the Rams defense. The bet will be on which number will be higher after this game; Donald’s season sack total or the Jets’ losses.
Miami Dolphins 8–5:
The Dolphins lost to the now No. 1 seeded Chiefs, 33-27. Both teams proved how dangerous they are, as the Dolphins forced four turnovers on a team that had the fewest turnovers this season. On the flip side, the Chiefs scored 33 points and won the game even with Patrick Mahomes throwing three interceptions.
Next up for the Dolphins:
The Dolphins have their final home game this season against the team that they opened the season against. There have been some really memorable games in this rivalry from the Wildcat game to the Miami Miracle.
This equates to a playoff game for both teams. A New England loss would end their postseason hopes. For Miami, they currently control their own destiny, but if they lose this game, their fate falls in the hands of other teams. The Dolphins currently hold the final playoff spot by virtue of a tiebreaker over the Ravens.