Today’s late-afternoon window includes what quite possibly will be a way-too-early playoff game.
Jets at Bills. New York is 4-5. Buffalo is 5-5. It’s arguably a “must” win for both teams.
For the Jets, starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers keeps talking about a return this season. He wants to play in mid-December. By mid-December, it might be time to think about next September.
As previously explained, the latest feasible return date for Rodgers would be Week 16 against the Commanders, and the Jets would have to be 7-7 or 8-6 to make the potential reward worth the risk.
The sixth loss could come today. Five days from now, the Jets could be 4-7 after a Black Friday visit from the Dolphins. Then come the Falcons, Texans, and Dolphins again before Week 15 against the Commanders.
For the Bills, the Jenga tower has been falling down ever since they got their eyes on London Bridge. Getting swept by the Jets and losing another game at home and not getting a spark from the firing of offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey could result in a fork being stuck in the Bills, four days before Thanksgiving.
Recent quarterback injuries elsewhere in the conference have given the Bills some hope. The 6-3 Browns might falter without Deshaun Watson, and the 5-5 Bengals might be done without Joe Burrow.
But that doesn’t change the upcoming schedule for the Bills. Next week, at Eagles. Then the bye. Then, at the Chiefs. Then the Cowboys.
So 6-5 could easily be 6-8 by the end of Week 15.
A loss today could lead to 5-9.
Bottom line? Today’s loser in Jets-Bills is likely done. Today’s winner might simply be delaying the inevitable. And, as seemed possible when the schedule was released, only one AFC East team could be headed for the postseason.