There were many interesting performances involving AFC East teams in Week 14. Every team in the division squared off with an opponent who would make the playoffs if the NFL season ended today. Let’s see how each team in the AFC East stacked up after a notable litmus test this weekend.
4. New York Jets
It was never going to be easy for the New York Jets to stay competitive on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. But considering they lost 40-3 to one of the NFL's best teams without fans, it's fair to wonder how much that margin could have ballooned if Seattle's rowdy crowd was out in full force.
The Jets hoped interim DC Frank Bush would offer a fresh spark. But he didn't many answers for QB Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense. Even with a banged up D.K. Metcalf (who limped off during the first possession), the Seahawks easily moved the ball on the Jets from the get-go. Early on, WR Freddie Swain caught a 19 yard touchdown pass to give Seattle a lead they would never relinquish.
This game felt like a continued hangover from New York’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders last Sunday. The Jets are still winless. They're stuck at the bottom of the AFC East, and they'll face another daunting opponent in the Los Angeles Rams next week.
3. New England Patriots
The New England Patriots quite well in an NFL Week 13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. It seemed like a different team took the field against the Rams, though. New England was humiliated in a 24-3 loss on Thursday night.
While Bill Belichick’s guile and experience is still good enough to frustrate some NFL teams, it isn’t usually enough to overcome rosters with as much talent as the Rams. The defense simply couldn't stop the attacking running game led by Los Angeles rookie Cam Akers. On offense, the Patriots struggled all night long.
The Patriots could bounce back next year, as they should get back some of the players that opted out of the 2020 season. But this year has been a definitive fall from grace for a franchise that had ruled over the AFC and the entire NFL.
2. Miami Dolphins
Elite Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes threw two interceptions in the first quarter against a Dolphins defense that has turned many heads this season. CB Byron Jones, who Miami signed to a large contract this offseason, started off the turnover festivities in the first quarter.
The final three quarters were a different story, though. The Chiefs went on one of their patented runs to put the Dolphins behind the eight ball. Still, Miami showed a glimpse of what their future could be on offense. QB Tua Tagovailoa found TE Mike Gesicki for two touchdowns in the shootout loss.
Despite the loss, the Dolphins are still one of the top teams in the AFC this year. But they might have a hard time catching the team that's leading the AFC East.
1. The Buffalo Bills could run away with the AFC East
If there were any doubts that the Buffalo Bills were serious contenders to win the AFC this season, they completely squashed them on Sunday Night Football by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-15.
WR Stefon Diggs continue to make a case for the argument that he's one of the best receivers in the NFL. He racked up an impressive 130 yards on 10 catches against one of the league’s best defensive units. His acquisition, among other reasons, has been one of the main factors that has turned the Bills into an AFC powerhouse.
With the win, Buffalo moved to 10-3 on the year, and they remain in control of the AFC East. They have a two game lead on the Dolphins, and Buffalo already beat them earlier in the season.