Is it possible that 3 AFC East teams can make the NFL playoffs?
Thanks to the pandemic, seven teams qualify for the NFL postseason, and the AFC East could greatly benefit. There’s a chance that three teams from the division could make the playoffs.
With five weeks left, the question is out there. Can three teams from the AFC East qualify for the NFL playoff bracket? Let’s take a look at the division and what needs to happen.
Buffalo Bills (8-3, No. 4 Seed)
The Bills took care of business with a 27-17 triumph over the Los Angeles Chargers. The Bills are in prime position to win the AFC East and are currently the No. 4 seed in the playoff standings. Catching the Chiefs or the Steelers to playoff standings is in visible reach. If the Steelers lose to the Ravens, it could make the Week 14 matchup with the Steelers even more eye-popping. With games against the 49ers, Broncos, Patriots, and Dolphins, there is a clear path to 11 or 12 wins. The Bills are a lock to make the postseason.
Miami Dolphins (7-4, No. 6 Seed)
After defeating the New York Jets to net their seventh win of the season, the Dolphins are the No. 6 seed in the playoff standings. The Dolphins should snag win number eight next week against the Cincinnati Bengals, who are without their starting quarterback, Joe Burrow, for the rest of the season. The final four games of the season are going to make or break the dolphins.
If the Dolphins are 8-4 after Week 13, the team will need to find a way to win two of their final four games. That includes matchups with the Chiefs, Patriots, Raiders, and Bills. Realistically, the Chiefs and Bills are two games that are going to be tough to win. However, the Dolphins did play toe-to-toe with the Bills the first time around and only lost 31-28. Both the Raiders and Patriots games are winnable matchups. Either way, the Dolphins have a road to the playoffs, but it is not going to be easy.
New England Patriots (5-6, No. 10 Seed)
The Patriots threw themselves back into the playoff mix by defeating the Arizona Cardinals 20-17. With the win, the team is sitting with the No. 10 seed and will need to find a way to jump over the Ravens and Raiders. The Raiders took a beatdown, 43-6, to the Falcons to drop to 6-5, while the Ravens await the Steelers in a rare Tuesday Night Football showdown. If the Steelers can drop the Ravens to 6-6, the door is wide open for the Patriots.
The No. 7 seed Colts fell to 7-4 after losing to the Titans. The Patriots will need the Colts to lose a couple more games and win four of their next five games. The Patriots play the Chargers, Rams, Dolphins, Bills, and Jets to close the season. Three of those teams are challenging for playoff berths. Can the Patriots pull off the trifecta for the division? We will have to wait and see, but it doesn’t look promising.
New York Jets (0-11, No. 16 Seed)
There isn’t much to say here about the NY Jets. The team can’t make the playoffs, but the franchise could help the Dolphins or the Patriots in making the postseason if those two teams win their respective games down the stretch. For starters, the Jets play the Browns and Raiders over their final five games. It would be asking a lot for the Jets to pull off a win over each. With the Browns and Raiders in playoff contention, the Dolphins and Patriots could use a little Jets magic.
Story by Kyle Padilla