Bills Clinch 2nd Consecutive AFC East Title With Patriots' Loss to Dolphins

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 10, 2022

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen stretches for, but doesn't make, a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

The Buffalo Bills officially clinched the AFC East title as the New England Patriots lost 33-24 to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

The Bills entered Week 18 in the driver's seat of the division, needing only a win over the New York Jets or a Patriots loss to earn first place. Miami made things easy with an upset win on Sunday, dropping New England to the wild card.

Buffalo earned the No. 3 seed in the AFC with its eventual 27-10 win over the Jets and will begin the postseason at home.

The Bills will have high expectations heading into the playoffs even after an up-and-down 2021 season.

The squad doubled its losses from last year, including an embarrassing 9-6 defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 9. Quarterback Josh Allen also struggled with consistency, throwing 15 interceptions on the year.

This is still a team that reached the AFC Championship Game a year ago with mostly the same roster.

Allen finished the year with 36 passing touchdowns and six rushing touchdowns in 17 games, leading an offense that averaged 28.4 points per game this season. The defense was even more impressive in 2021, entering Week 18 ranked first in the NFL in yards allowed and second in points allowed.

Considering five of the team's six losses this year were by a single possession, the Bills will be tough to beat in the playoffs.

Buffalo already has wins over the Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs this year, two potential contenders in the AFC, while the squad narrowly suffered a 34-31 loss to No. 1 seed Tennessee Titans.

The Bills have never won a Super Bowl, but this is a team that could surprise people in the playoffs.