Bill Belichick, NE-MIA, 2021-22, Week 18
Bill Belichick, NE-MIA, 2021-22, Week 18, Getty Images

Patriots fans are in the Jets’ corner on Sunday

Nine days in, 2022 is already proving itself worthy of continuing the silliness of the new Roaring 20s. Sunday’s latest surprise might be one of the most unexpected occurrences yet.

As the New York Jets prepare to end their 2021-22 season against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday late afternoon (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS), they’ll have some unexpected supporters on their side: the New England Patriots.

Though they’ll be watching the NFL playoffs from home for the 11th consecutive season, the Jets (4-12) will play an active role in forming the final AFC bracket. Both Buffalo (10-6) and New England (10-6) are on their way to the postseason, but their respective games in the late Week 18 window (New England goes up against Miami) will determine who earns the AFC East division title and the home playoff game that comes with it.

The Bills, by virtue of a better record against AFC opponents, are in the most control of their destiny. Should they fall to the Jets, New England would pick up the division title with a win over the Dolphins.

To that end, New England’s official Twitter account put out a tweet in support of the Jets’ efforts before Sunday’s games kicked off. Patriots running back Brandon Bolden, depicted with comically large eyes in a GIF accompanying the tweet, looks bewildered at his team’s unusual declaration.

Recent numbers suggest New England’s faith could be misplaced: the Jets have dropped four of their last five and three in a row to the Bills, with that one win coming when Buffalo was resting starters in preparation for their 2019-20 postseason run.

The Jets will also be missing some key contributors, including top receivers Elijah Moore and Braxton Berrios and breakout star blocker George Fant.

Buffalo won the first meeting between the two teams by a 45-17 final at MetLife Stadium in November, though the Jets didn’t have the services of starting quarterback Zach Wilson.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email:
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8 months ago

Maybe they should of worried about the Dolphins first….