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AFC East standings: Jets’ defense contains Bills, Josh Allen in upset win to tighten division race

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The Bills are considered to be the best team in the AFC, yet they were the only team in their division not to earn a victory in Week 9.

Buffalo was heavily favored entering its road game vs. the Jets. The thought was that the defense would rattle Zach Wilson as the Bills cruised to a dominant victory.

Instead, Buffalo’s offense encountered a tough matchup.

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The Jets’ defense played one of its best games of the year, holding the Bills’ offense almost two touchdowns below the 29 points it was averaging entering the week. New York held MVP favorite Josh Allen without a passing touchdown and forced him into two interceptions.

“It’s tough to win when your quarterback plays like s—,” Allen said after the game of his performance, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

Allen’s struggles were largely the result of a strong pass rush and stellar cornerback play by Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed. The duo were excellent in containing Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis, and Gardner made the pass breakup that clinched New York’s 20-17 victory.

The Jets are proving that their start to the season was no mirage and that Robert Saleh wasn’t kidding when he said that his team was keeping “receipts” about those who doubted. Their win over the Bills also did a lot to further gum up the AFC East standings.

MORE: Updated AFC, NFC playoff picture for Week 9 of 2022 season

AFC East standings

The Bills remain No. 1 in the division after Week 9 but their grip on the top spot is looser. Their lead is now just half a game, and every team in the division has a winning record.

Rank Team W-L
1 Bills 6-2
2 Jets 6-3
3 Dolphins 6-3
4 Patriots 5-4

The Jets are second by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker they hold over the Dolphins via their 40-17 victory over Miami in Week 5. The two teams won’t play again until Week 18. 

The Dolphins have been streaky this season. They began the year 3-0 and then followed that with a three-game losing streak. They are now on a three-game winning streak again after outlasting the Bears 35-32 in Week 9.

Miami is hoping that trade deadline acquisitions Bradley Chubb and Jeff Wilson Jr. will upgrade their pass rush and running game, respectively. They are 2-1 in the division, with wins over the Bills and Patriots and the loss to the Jets.

The Patriots are in last but they have won four of their last five games despite dealing with uncertainty at quarterback. They soundly beat Sam Ehlinger and the Colts in Week 9 but now face a three-week stretch with games against the Jets, Vikings and Bills.

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The AFC East is wide open now. All four teams have a chance at the playoffs.

That said, the Bills are still favored to win the division. They have the most complete roster and are still in first. They will work to keep that lead from evaporating as they face the 7-1 Vikings in Week 10.


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