It’s the final week of the 2015 NFL regular season and for the first time since 2010, we could have a pair of teams from the AFC East in the playoffs.
The last time a team in the AFC East other than the New England Patriots has made the playoffs was in 2010 when the New York Jets made the playoffs with a 11-5 record that was enough to get them a wild-card spot back then and it will be enough to get them one this year as well.
After knocking off their arch-nemesis this past week they now have to face their old coach in Buffalo. The Patriots on the other hand are reeling and just trying to hold on to their No.1 seed, but they will have to do that without a lot of key players this Sunday. So here come my predictions for how this plays out.
New York Jets (10-5) at Buffalo Bills (7-8)
This is game is my game of the week as it is packed with importance and intrigue. Rex Ryan will do everything he can, to stop his old team from making the playoffs, but injuries might stop the Bills from at least reaching .500 in this very disappointing season. A lot of changes are coming in Buffalo and certain players are playing for a job.
The Jets are red-hot as they have now won five in a row and need a sixth win to clinch a playoff spot. A loss in Buffalo would be a disappointing end to a great season. Ryan Fitzpatrick and the aerial attack has been the difference maker in their win-streak as Ryan Fitzpatrick has passed for over 250 yards in all five wins and Brandon Marshall has topped the 100-yard receiving mark in four of the five wins.
This is a game in which it wouldn’t surprise me if the Jets lose, as history has shown that they have a knack for ending seasons on a disappointing note, but this team is complete on both sides of the football and since the Bills are missing LeSean McCoy it gives the Jets defense the ability to really focus on Sammy Watkins. It will be a tight game, but the Jets will pull out a win and clinch the playoffs and are a team that can do some damage.
Prediction: New York Jets 20, Buffalo Bills 17
New England Patriots (12-3) at Miami Dolphins (5-10)
The Patriots are coming off the tough loss to the Jets and now are forced to play their starters in the regular season finale because they want to lock up the No.1 seed. They have lost their last two games in Miami, but the Dolphins have really struggled in the past weeks losing five out of their last six, and mostly against teams that also have a losing record.
I expect the Patriots to sit most players that are not a 100 percent as this is a game that they should be able to win even without a lot of their top players. The Patriots passing attack will be the key, as it has really struggled since Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola have been out of action for a while.
The Pats offense won’t have to put up a lot of points as the struggling Dolphins will be mostly shut down by a Patriots defense that has developed into a Top 5 NFL defense. It might not be as much of a blowout as in Week 8, but I would be shocked if the Patriots lose this game.