The Buffalo Bills (10-6) need a Sunday win or loss to the New England Patriots (10-6) to clinch back-to-back AFC East division titles for the first time since joining won four in a row from 1988 to 1991.
In their own way ? A former division rival, the New York Jets (4-12), playing for pride to end another last-place season.
These two teams will meet at 4:25 p.m. EST at Highmark Stadium in a Week 18 game that the NFL took out of the first time slot and into the afternoon slate.
The Patriots, who are tied with Buffalo in the divisional standings, also had their regular season finale against the Miami Dolphins (8-8) flexed at the 4:25 p.m. EST window. While New England and Buffalo are tied in the AFC East, the Bills currently hold the tiebreaker with the Patriots based on divisional records (Buffalo is 4-1 and New England is 3 -2).
With so much at stake when the Bills take on the Jets, this Week 18 game will be CBS’ late-night broadcast for much of the country, especially most of the Northeast (outside of the Patriots’ main market), the entire heartland of the nation and much of the Midwest.
CBS sends Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Trent Green (analyst), and Melanie Collins (secondary reporter) to Orchard Park to call the Jets/Bills game.
The areas that can see the game are highlighted in blue (map provided by 506sports):
Besides the Bills/Jets clash, the rest of CBS’ late game slate includes the Carolina Panthers visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (in red) and the New England Patriots at the Miami Dolphins (green).
Sunday’s game will be the 123rd all-time meeting between these teams. Buffalo leads the all-time series 66-56 and has won four of the last five meetings with the Jets, including 45-17 in Week 10.
In that last meeting, Josh Allen moved the offense up and down the field at will, directing an offense that rolled up a season-high 489 rushing yards. Allen finished with a season-high 366 passing yards and two passing touchdowns, Stefon Diggs caught eight passes for a season-high 162 yards and a TD, and Gabriel Davis added 105 receiving yards on three catches. Tre’Davious White, Levi Wallace, Jordan Poyer and Taron Johnson added interceptions and Micah Hyde forced and recovered a fumble with each secondary leaving with a turnover as Buffalo knocked out Mike White four times.
The Bills are looking for their second consecutive sweep of the Jets. This will be the first time they face rookie quarterback Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.