The Buffalo Bills (10-6) need a win on Sunday or a loss by the New England Patriots (10-6) to clinch consecutive AFC East divisional titles for the first time since claiming four straight from 1988-1991.
In their way? An old divisional rival, the New York Jets (4-12), who are playing for pride in bringing another last-place season to an end.
These two teams will meet at 4:25 p.m. EST at Highmark Stadium in a Week 18 game the NFL flexed out of the early timeslot and into the afternoon slate.
The Patriots, who are tied with Buffalo in the divisional standings, also had their regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins (8-8) flexed to the 4:25 p.m. EST window. While New England and Buffalo are tied in the AFC East, the Bills currently hold the tiebreaker with the Patriots based on divisional records (Buffalo is 4-1 and New England is 3-2).
With so much at stake when the Bills take on the Jets, this Week 18 matchup will be CBS’ late broadcast for much of the country, specifically most of the northeast (outside of the Patriots’ primary market), all of the nation’s heartland and much of the Midwest.
CBS is sending Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Trent Green (analyst), and Melanie Collins (sideline reporter) to Orchard Park to call the Jets/Bills game.
The areas that can see the game are highlighted in blue (map courtesy of 506sports):
Besides the Bills/Jets clash, the rest of the CBS late slate of games features the Carolina Panthers visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (in red), and the New England Patriots at the Miami Dolphins (green).
Sunday’s matchup will be the 123rd meeting all-time between these teams. Buffalo leads the all-time series 66-56 and has won four of the last five matchups with the Jets, including 45-17 in Week 10.
In that last meeting, Josh Allen moved the offense up and down the field at will, directing an offense that rolled up a season-high 489 yards of offense. Allen finished with a season-high 366 passing yards and two passing touchdowns, Stefon Diggs caught eight passes for a season-best 162 yards and a TD, and Gabriel Davis added 105 receiving yards on three catches. Tre’Davious White, Levi Wallace, Jordan Poyer and Taron Johnson added interceptions and Micah Hyde forced and recovered a fumble with every member of the secondary coming away with a turnover as Buffalo picked off Mike White four times.
The Bills are looking for their second straight season sweep of the Jets. This will be their first time facing rookie quarterback Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.