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AFC East Roundup: A look ahead to the postseason

What is at the end of the regular-season tunnel?

Week 14 is officially in the books for the AFC East with the postseason picture gaining some clarity. Things will look much different for the division’s playoff teams this season thanks to some inspired play by the Buffalo Bills. This week on the AFC East Roundup we recap the week that was and look ahead toward the end of the 2020 tunnel.

For the Buffalo Bills, they have their eyes on a postseason bid and their first AFC East title since 1995. With a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football, Buffalo controls their own destiny. A win next week over the Denver Broncos would clinch them the division crown. Also, there is still a glimmer of hope for the top seed in the conference but they would need the Kansas City Chiefs to lose down the stretch and would still need the Steelers to drop another game. This Bills team is heating up at the right time, especially on defense, and including Stefon Diggs who became the first receiver in the league to break 100 catches on the season.

Down in South Beach, the Miami Dolphins are coming off a tough loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday after shutting down Patrick Mahomes for the majority of the first half. The loss means that Miami needs Buffalo to drop a couple of games to ensure the Week 17 matchup matters in terms of the division crown. All is not lost in that situation however as they are still currently holding that last Wild Card spot. It won’t be easy though, as a win for the Baltimore Ravens Monday would tie Miami for that last spot. The team will continue to hope that rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can develop quick enough to give his team a shot at playing in January.

For the New England Patriots, they are in a position not seen in a very long time. The win by Buffalo guarantees that the Patriots cannot hoist the division crown they’ve become synonymous with in the 21st century. After getting blown out by the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday Night Football, their playoff hopes look very bleak as the team needs a lot of help to even have a chance at sneaking in a Wild Card birth. Instead, it may be time to look ahead for the Pats as there are some serious questions at the quarterback position in need of answers.

Lastly, we have the New York Jets who have had their eyes on the 2021 NFL draft for a long time now. All indications would point to the team picking their new franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence but they have to finish the regular season first. It may not be as easy as it seems because the Jacksonville Jaguars are only one game behind the Jets for that number-one overall pick. To ensure that the Jets lock down the pick, they likely need to go down in infamy and finish the season with an 0-16 record.