The Miami Dolphins’ magic quantity to clinch the AFC East title is all the way down to three, and whereas that race could seemingly be over, their division rivals nonetheless have lots to play for this week. Popping out of their bye, the Buffalo Payments goal to kick-start an unbelievable playoff push, whereas the New England Patriots and New York Jets merely hope to regain some dignity.
Listed here are predictions for the AFC East in Week 14.
New England Patriots (2-10) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5): On a constructive observe, the Patriots have been dominant defensively of late, however their offensive ineptitude continues to hinder their probabilities of profitable. In line with CBS Sports, final week’s 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers made New England the primary crew since 1938 to lose three straight video games during which its opponents scored 10 factors or fewer. The offense would not appear to be trending up anytime quickly both, with beginning RB Rhamondre Stevenson expected to be out for “just a few weeks” after struggling a high-ankle sprain.
Though the Steelers are coming off a blowout loss to the lowly Arizona Cardinals and can begin backup QB Mitchell Trubisky on Thursday, final week’s poor climate circumstances make it troublesome to foretell that they are beginning to spiral. Nonetheless, in a matchup with two backup quarterback-led groups that rank within the backside 5 in scoring, this needs to be a tightly contested, low-scoring affair, which ought to favor the Steelers, who’re 7-1 in one-score video games this season.
PREDICTION: Steelers, 13-10
Houston Texans (7-5) at New York Jets (4-8): The Jets, losers of their final 5 video games, proceed to invent new methods to humiliate themselves and can make one other quarterback change after the Tim Boyle experiment could not even final two begins. Boyle was lower on Tuesday, leaving the Jets to show again to Zach Wilson in hopes of igniting an offense that has scored simply 10 touchdowns this season. Whereas Wilson is clearly the most suitable choice the Jets have at this level, he is nonetheless the identical ineffective quarterback who ranks final amongst certified passers in QBR (30.3).
Regardless of being the league chief in passing yards (3,540), Texans QB C.J. Stroud ought to look extra like a rookie towards the Jets protection, particularly since WR Tank Dell is out for the season. Nonetheless, whereas a matchup towards a determined opponent could possibly be a letdown spot for a younger Houston crew that’s coming off an exhilarating win, the Jets’ offensive woes counsel that their shedding streak will proceed.
PREDICTION: Texans, 20-10
Buffalo Payments (6-6) at Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (8-4): Neither crew has emerged because the powerhouse many anticipated this season, with the Payments holding a mediocre 6-6 file and the defending Tremendous Bowl champion Chiefs already exceeding final season’s loss total. Nonetheless, since each groups are determined for a win, this might create a doubtlessly chaotic recreation atmosphere and one other immediate basic between them. Nonetheless, taking into consideration that Buffalo should win to maintain its slim playoff hopes alive and is coming off its bye, there’s loads of motive to be optimistic a couple of attainable upset.
Regardless that the Payments suffered a devastating loss to the Eagles of their final recreation, their offense had one other encouraging scoring outburst. Josh Allen and firm have began clicking after the firing of former offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, with the crew averaging 33 factors and 449 yards throughout its final two video games. Kansas Metropolis has averaged the Twelfth-fewest factors amongst groups throughout its present 2-3 skid (19.4), and it may fall behind shortly if it struggles out of the gate, although QB Patrick Mahomes ought to be capable to hold issues shut.
PREDICTION: Payments, 28-24
Tennessee Titans (4-8) at Miami Dolphins (9-3): The Dolphins have all however locked up the AFC East title and can play their remaining video games in hopes of holding on to the highest seed within the convention. Miami erupted for 45 factors towards the NFC East’s bottom-dwelling Washington Commanders final week and will produce an identical consequence towards a struggling Titans crew that’s final within the AFC South.
For as a lot reward because the Dolphins offense will get, the protection has been excellent since CB Jalen Ramsey made his season debut, permitting simply 15.8 factors during the last 5 video games, the second-lowest mark in that span. This doesn’t bode effectively for Tennessee, which is the NFL’s eighth-worst offense by way of factors (18.2) and yards per recreation (300.7) since Will Levis took over at quarterback. Contemplating Miami boasts a +165 level differential towards sub-.500 groups this season, this needs to be one other occasion the place it simply defeats one other inferior opponent.
PREDICTION: Dolphins 35-17