The New England patriots put on an offensive masterclass to beat the Detroit Lions 34-9 at Gillette Stadium yesterday afternoon. The win moved New England to 9-2 on the season and as a result, ensured the Jets would be without the AFC East title for another year. Obviously at 2-8, the chances were miniscule anyway, but this officially put the final nail into our divisional coffin. The Jets last won the division in 2002 with a 9-7 record and have only won the division 4 times over the course of its history dating back to 1960 where the Houston Oilers took home the title.
The division title will likely be heading back to New England with a small possibility the Dolphins could challenge. New England still has to face the Packers, Chargers, Dolphins, Jets and Bills, so although it's not a foregone conclusion, with the way the Patriots are playing, I think it's only a matter of time now. If they do go on to win the division it will be their 6th division title in a row and 11th title in the last 12 years.
Both the Dolphins and Patriots look to be building for the future, and I commented yesterday how I am starting to worry about how good Ryan Tennehill looks. Both franchises have a clear direction and while Tom Brady's career may be winding down, he shows no signs of slowing down. This year he is completing 65% of his passes with 26 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Ryan Tannehill this year is completing over 65% of his passes with 20 touchdowns to 8 interceptions. The Jets are still looking for that QB to lead them going forward.
I don't want to be defeatist, but the Jets are going to have to drastically improve their roster if they hope to compete in the AFC East anytime soon. Luckily in the NFL, rosters can change drastically from one season to the next and improvements and declines happen on a yearly basis.
The Jets have missed out on the AFC East again this year and will be officially eliminated from the play-offs with a loss to Buffalo tonight in Detroit. However things can chance quickly in the NFL, and at the end of the day that's what we need to hold onto.