NY Jets, Zach Wilson, Stefon Diggs, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, AFC East Standings
Zach Wilson, Stefon Diggs, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, AFC East, Getty Images

New York Jets’ AFC East outlook is looking more promising after bye-week results

The New York Jets enjoyed their bye week in Week 10, which meant it was time for their fans to sit back, relax, and feverishly root against their AFC East rivals.

While the New England Patriots also had their bye this past week, the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills each took the field on Sunday for big games. Miami hosted the Cleveland Browns while Buffalo hosted the Minnesota Vikings.

The Dolphins took care of business against Cleveland in dominant fashion, picking up a 39-17 victory. Miami won its fourth straight game and moved to 7-3.

In Orchard Park, the Bills led by 17 points with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, but the Vikings roared back and ended up taking a 33-30 victory in overtime. It marks the Bills’ second straight loss after they fell to the Jets last week. Buffalo has now fallen to 6-3.

Sunday’s results have the AFC East standings looking very different than what anyone could have expected prior to the year:

  1. Dolphins (7-3)
  2. Jets (6-3)
  3. Bills (6-3)
  4. Patriots (5-4)

The Bills’ loss dropped them into a tie for second place with the Jets, although the Jets’ current head-to-head advantage gives them the tiebreaker over Buffalo for the moment. That puts Buffalo in third place while New York maintains the second-place ranking it has held since besting Miami in Week 5.

Meanwhile, Miami leapfrogged Buffalo and New York to climb from third place to first place.

Despite Miami’s victory to momentarily assume the throne, Jets fans should be thrilled about what transpired during the team’s off week. Buffalo’s loss puts control of the AFC East squarely in the Jets’ hands. The Jets now essentially control their own destiny in the division.

The Dolphins are on their bye next week. So, if the Jets take down the Patriots in New England, they will steal first place in the AFC East regardless of what happens elsewhere. They would tie Miami at 7-3, who they currently have the head-to-head tiebreaker over. And even if the Bills defeat the Browns to also move to 7-3, the Jets currently have the tiebreaker over them, too.

New York has one game remaining against each of its division rivals (each on the road; although the Jets are 4-0 on the road). The Jets have already defeated Buffalo and Miami. As for New England, they are looking to even the season series in addition to taking a two-game lead over them.

If the Jets defeat the Pats this week, they will have first place in the division, a 3-1 division record, and a chance to sweep each of their two closest competitors for the title.

Thanks to Kirk Cousins’s valiant comeback in Buffalo, the future of the AFC East now lies in the New York Jets’ hands.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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10 months ago

This week is not only key for the division but also the playoff picture. A loss to the Patoilets would mean they are tied with them, and 0-2 in head-to-head. That’s going to be tough to overcome. That loss to them is costly considering they threw it away.

We are at the point that all games are big, and maybe it’s just me but the schedule that was supposed to “soften” after the bye all of a sudden doesn’t look so soft.

Detroit’s proving they are still playing for their coach, Fields is emerging as a tough player to defend, and that Jags game won’t be easy. A trip to Seattle, is always a problem and will be a tough test. Then 3 road games in the division. This is a tough road.

This isn’t a “must” win but it’s close.