2022 AFC East Standings
|3||New England Patriots||8||9||0||.471||3-3||364||347||4-4||4-5||L1|
|4||New York Jets||7||10||0||.412||2-4||296||316||3-5||4-5||L6|
In spite of such a surprisingly solid season, the New York Jets standings are not where the organization would like to see them.
Finishing at 7-10, courtesy of six-straight losses, including a brutal home loss to the Detroit Lions and another to the Jacksonville Jaguars, a disappointing loss to the Minnesota Vikings, and a tough defeat in Buffalo to the Bills, the Jets end the season in the AFC East basement.
Obviously, it didn’t always feel this bleak. At one point, the team was 5-2, 6-3 and then 7-4, prior to losing out.
After their 31-10 dismantling of the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium, then-Mike White’s Jets found themselves just two games out of first place in the AFC East. Now, at 7-7, they’re four games out of first place in the AFC East with no mathematic chance to win the divisional crown.
Things got tricky after the Jets’ dishearting 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots up north, but their stunning 20-17 victory over the rival Buffalo Bills. a week before the bye currently gives them the head-to-head tiebreaker over the defending AFC East champs.
As a whole, how good is the AFC East right now? Two teams made the playoffs, in the Bills and Dolphins, while the Patriots nearly snuck into the tournament.
Earlier in the season, New York’s ugly 16-9 victory over the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium put them within a half-game of the idle Buffalo Bills at the time. But then Bill Belichick came to town and Zach Wilson threw three interceptions. A Buffalo Bills triumph over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football stretched the AFC East lead to 1.5 games.
Unfortunately, Denver is where the season took a U-turn. Once Alijah Vera-Tucker and Breece Hall went on the season-ending shelf, the team’s fantastic momentum never lasted.
Encouragingly, the Jets’ miraculous 31-30 come-from-behind victory over the Browns in Cleveland gave the organization its first September win in quite some time and allowed them to feel as though they are still within striking distance.
After a brutal home loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Zach Wilson’s first game of the season resulted in another come-from-behind road victory, a 24-20 beauty over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Jets’ 40-17 thrashing of the divisional rival Miami Dolphins made it two-straight victories and possession of second place in the AFC East—courtesy of a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Fins.
And then there was the Packers game in Green Bay, which saw Robert Saleh’s squad dominate defensively and come away with the 27-10 victory.
Unfortunately, however, the early-season good times ended. And now that the team finished the season losing six straight—after starting 5-2 and then sporting a sparkling 7-4 record—the New York Jets have missed the playoffs for the 12th consecutive season.
The New York Jets standings within the AFC East have featured one team’s dominance for virtually two decades. Yet, the AFC East kings are no more—at least not anymore, since the 2020 NFL season played out.
Tom Brady‘s New England Patriots won the divisional crown 17 of 19 years, beginning with his insertion as starting quarterback in 2021.
Only an improbable New York Jets’ championship in 2002, as they “played to win the game,” and a Chad Pennington-led Miami Dolphins title in 2008, squashed Bill Belichick’s perfect mark within the AFC East for the better part of the last two decades.
The very same year (2020) Brady bolted for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers saw Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills win their first AFC East championship since 1995. But as quickly as it seemed the Pats were trending downward was as fast as they rebounded, coming back strong in 2021 while the Bills try to navigate as one of the NFL’s favorites.
The Jets, still stuck in building mode, will have to wait their turn until Joe Douglas and company are confident that his roster can compete in one of the toughest divisions in football.
AFC East History
AFC East Championship Count (1970-2020):
|1||Boston / New England Patriots||21|
|4||Baltimore / Indianapolis Colts||6|
|5||New York Jets||2|
The history of the AFC East division stretches as far back as 1970 when the NFL-AFL merger shook things up quite a bit.
After Joe Namath‘s Super Bowl 3 shocker and the Kansas City Chiefs triumph in Super Bowl 4, the merger sent the then-Baltimore Colts to the AFC, along with the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers (while the rest of the old NFL played in the newly-formed NFC).
While it may have been a bad break for the Jets, Patriots, Bills and Dolphins, Don Shula’s Colts took it and ran away. Their 11-2-1 record and eventual Super Bowl 5 victory over the Dallas Cowboys kicked off the very first AFC East season in the National Football League—the very season after the Jets had just won their second-straight AFL East title.
AFL East Championship Count (1960-1969):
|3||New York Jets / Titans||2|
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