Patriots’ Path To First In AFC East Opens After Dramatic Bills’ Loss

The Dolphins hold first in the division


Nov 13, 2022

The AFC East became a lot more interesting after Week 10.

There was much discussion heading into Sunday regarding the status of Josh Allen, and while the Bills quarterback got the start, Buffalo’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings was by no means a foregone conclusion.

Ultimately, Minnesota came back after trailing by 17 points to earn a 33-30 overtime victory. Allen threw a game-sealing interception, his third turnover of the game, to help the Vikings earn a thrilling win.

Elsewhere in the division, the 7-3 Miami Dolphins handled the Cleveland Browns to gain control of the AFC East. The 6-3 New York Jets and 5-4 New England Patriots each were on their bye week, and the two teams will face off in Week 11, which will make the matchup even more interesting.

While both the Jets and Bills stand at 6-3, New York has the tiebreaker advantage after a head-to-head win in Buffalo during Week 9. However, the Patriots aren’t far behind, sitting only one loss back of the Jets and Bills.

New England does have a tough road ahead as the Patriots still have two games against Buffalo in the second half of the season. The Patriots can get off to a good post-bye start by sweeping its season matchup against the Jets in Week 11. New England also will face the 8-2 Vikings, but with Cousins struggling against pressure, it’s a matchup the Patriots defense might be able to deliver, especially behind the play of Matthew Judon.

If the Patriots can fix their offensive struggles, specifically if Mac Jones can improve his play, New England has a realistic path to finish first in the division, or at worst a wild-card berth.

The AFC was seen as the best conference, but few doubted it would be the AFC East would turn out to be the best division.

Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images
Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson
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