The AFC East teams that played this weekend -- Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots -- were all involved in notable games for one reason or another.
Let’s see how the AFC East divisional rankings shake out after Week 10’s slate.
4. New York Jets (0-9)
This was the one team in the AFC East that did not play in Week 10, and with the way their season has gone thus far, they probably wish there were additional bye weeks to bail them out of what has been a tumultuous season.
The Jets play against the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday, and it already looks like starting quarterback Sam Darnold will not be available per recent reports. If that ends up being the case, it will be the Joe Flacco show once again. In the team’s last game against the Patriots, the veteran QB showed signs of life, connecting with WR Breshad Perriman on a long touchdown.
Young running back Lamical Perine is also expected to get additional work out of the backfield with the Jets’ season having all but slipped away. They've all but locked up last place in the AFC East and are widely considered the worst team in the entire NFL.
3. Miami Dolphins (6-3)
The Dolphins had an encouraging showing on Sunday, defeating the Chargers at home by a final score of 29-21. Defense and special teams once again played a big role, as cornerback Xavien Howard picked off Chargers rookie QB Justin Herbert, and linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel blocked a Chargers punt in the first quarter.
Rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa put forth another solid effort in this game, and Miami will look to use the same formula that has delivered five consecutive wins for them in their next game against the Denver Broncos.
On paper, they’re in the soft part of their schedule, and will look to take advantage of the Broncos, Jets and Cincinnati Bengals in their next three games before facing the Kansas City Chiefs and then seeing more AFC East divisional games.
2. New England Patriots (4-5)
Anyone who wrote off Bill Belichick and the Patriots in the AFC East when they were 2-5 just a couple of weeks ago might be starting to get a little nervous.
While it wasn’t encouraging that they needed a last-second field goal to beat the New York Jets in Week 9, the Patriots dialed up a classic defensive performance against the dangerous Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10.
Not only that, but Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels called a trick play usually reserved for wide receiver Julian Edelman—this time, it was for WR Jakobi Meyers, who played quarterback in high school. He found RB Rex Burkhead in the end zone on a very well thrown pass.
With the Houston Texans on the schedule next week, it’s entirely possible New England gets back to .500 in the standings. If they get there, the rest of the AFC East will be on high alert.
1. Buffalo Bills (7-3)
At 7:26 p.m. EST, the Buffalo Bills were on their way to an 8-2 record, which would have allowed them to keep pace with the Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers as the true class of the conference while controlling the AFC East.
At 7:27 p.m. EST, a ball that seemingly fell from the heavens landed in the hands of Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins -- and just like that, the Bills were only one game up on Miami in the AFC East.
Despite the crushing loss, all was not lost for Buffalo, as QB Josh Allen made several critical plays late in the game to give the Bills a lead late in the fourth quarter, including this brilliant play to WR Stefon Diggs.
If Allen can cut down his turnover output (he threw two interceptions against Arizona), the Bills can still win the AFC East and make some noise in January.