Sunday, November 17, 2013
Week 11 through Pats' lens
By Field Yates
For the second straight Sunday, the New England Patriots won't be in action, as they'll take the field on Monday night for a showdown in Charlotte, N.C., against the Panthers.
The extra day of preparation for the team affords us on the outside an opportunity to check in on the other action going on around the NFL, specifically within the AFC East and conference at large.
Below is a look at the relevant games related to the Patriots:
Jets (5-4) at Bills (3-7), 1 p.m. ET: The Jets are currently the sixth seed in the AFC playoff race and coming off of their bye week. They've alternated wins and losses in each of their first nine games, so they'll hope to break that pattern this Sunday in Buffalo and secure their second road win of the season. The Bills are hoping to enter their bye week on a positive note.
Dolphins (4-5) vs. Chargers (4-5), 4:05 p.m. ET: Miami continues to deal with the ongoing situation involving offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito, something that some believe impacted their readiness for their Week 10 Monday night game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Miami is looking to win just its second game since Week 3, though its still just one game back of the Jets for a playoff spot. The Chargers find themselves with an identical record, making Sunday a pivotal contest for two AFC playoff hopefuls.
Chiefs (9-0) at Broncos (8-1), 8:20 p.m. ET: The most-anticipated matchup of the weekend involves the teams with the AFC's top two records. The Chiefs travel to Denver for the first of two games against their division rival in three weeks. These two are each aiming to secure an AFC West title while also vying for a top-two seed in the conference, which would yield a first-round bye. Entering the game, the Chiefs have the first seed, followed by the Patriots. The Broncos can overtake the Chiefs and leapfrog the Patriots -- for now -- with a win.
Bengals (6-4) vs. Browns (4-5), 1 p.m. ET: The Bengals rode the roller coaster of emotions in Week 10, mounting a last-second comeback with a Hail Mary to send their game against the Ravens into overtime, only to lose in the extra period. At 6-4, they're 1 1/2 games back of the Patriots, but they do hold a tiebreaker because of their head-to-head win. They're another team to monitor as teams jockey for seeds down the stretch. If the Browns win, they'll climb to within a game of the division lead.
Note: The Colts played on Thursday night, defeating the Titans and improving to 7-3, third in the AFC.
AFC East standings 1. Patriots (7-2)
2. Jets (5-4)
3. Dolphins (4-5)
4. Bills (3-7)