AFC East standings after Week 17: The bottom two spots have been decided

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  • Buffalo Bills
    Buffalo Bills
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  • New England Patriots
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17 weeks into the 2021 campaign, the AFC East hasn’t fully been decided, as two teams are still alive and have clinched a postseason berth.

The Buffalo Bills are still atop the division after mounting a second-half comeback to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 29-15. Buffalo gave up a safety on their opening possession, and between the second and third quarters, Josh Allen ended three straight drives with an interception. If they win next week, they win the division, but they can’t play like they did in this game in the postseason.

New England is currently second in the AFC East due to tiebreakers. In Week 17, they put a 50-10 beatdown on the Jacksonville Jaguars and rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence threw three interceptions that were mostly avoidable mistakes to help set the Patriots up for four rushing touchdowns split evenly between Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. If they win in Week 18 and Buffalo loses, the division is theirs.

The Dolphins were officially eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday and have ended the season as the third-place team in the AFC East. Week 17 brought a disappointing loss to the conference’s top team in Tennessee. Miami’s offense couldn’t get anything going, and their defense couldn’t stop the Titans from running all over them. This is the sixth time the Dolphins have finished third in the division since 2010.

Fourth place was solidified for the New York Jets a few weeks back, but they’re finishing up their schedule, as they blew a late lead to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the game on the field was pretty exciting, the game will certainly be remembered for the saga of Antonio Brown leaving the field and being cut from the team. The Jets have a chance to play spoiler somewhat in the final week of the season, so don’t expect them to roll over and give up.

Week 18 AFC East matchups:

Miami Dolphins (8-8) vs. New England Patriots (10-6)

Buffalo Bills (10-6) vs. New York Jets (4-12)