NFL Rapid Reaction Week 16: Bills win division amid QB questions in AFC East

NFL Week 16

As the 2022 NFL season comes to an end, the AFC East managed to be fairly close to preseason expectations, with Buffalo taking the division crown while the other three battle it out for the final AFC playoff spot. 

Bills capture AFC East despite concerns looming

After a couple of close calls along the way, the AFC East ended up never being in doubt, as the Bills took care of business and can now set their sights on the top seed in the AFC. There are still things to worry about with Buffalo as they are not a perfect team, no one is, but securing home field advantage is extremely important for them to avoid having to travel to Kansas City potentially for an AFC Championship Game. Until then, the biggest thing for the Bills is finding some consistency, because their sometimes lackadaisical nature can lead to an early exit if they aren’t careful. 

The Dolphins might be in trouble

Tua Tagovailoa was not very good on Christmas Day and there were plenty of takes being fired off, rightfully so to an extent. Then came the news on Monday, signaling that Tagovailoa was going back into concussion protocol. At this point in the season, the concussion stuff has been detailed time and time again, but on the surface, it feels like he might be done for the foreseeable future. That puts the Dolphins in an interesting spot. They’ve been free-falling as of late, and have two big games on the horizon for a chance to secure the final playoff spot in the AFC. While most of the attention will be on the quarterback situation, we should be looking at a missed opportunity on Christmas Day against a Packers team that they should’ve beaten. Miami has officially gone from potential Super Bowl contender, to potentially on the outside looking in when the playoffs start. If that happens, it’ll be a fascinating offseason in South Beach. 

Can the Pats move forward with Mac Jones?

For the second week in a row, the Patriots suffered a horrible loss. Saturday’s game was yet another moment this season where we were left wondering if this was a Bill Belichick coached team. The fans are screaming for Mac Jones to be shown the door, the coaching staff leaves a lot to be desired, and they are still somehow in position for a potential playoff spot. There isn’t a lot that makes sense about this New England team this season, but it sure feels like they will be in the market for a new quarterback when the offseason begins, even though they should try hiring an offensive coaching staff too. What a bizarre year up in Foxboro. 

 Have we seen the last of Zach Wilson in NY?

The Zach Wilson experiment has officially turned ugly in New York, potentially reaching the point of no return. There is a fan base that, unfairly, booed him every chance they got on Thursday night, and a team that seemingly doesn’t trust him. That’s not to say that Wilson has been good because he’s been atrocious, but booing a young quarterback for correctly throwing the ball away early in the game seems to be excessive. Wilson appears to be in need of a change of scenery, just like the Jets need to move on. It’s an unfortunate outcome for the former second overall pick, but there is nowhere else to turn. Mike White will return for the Jets this week, but don’t be surprised if their offensive line doesn’t put him in harm’s way if they don’t clean it up soon. Just like the Patriots though, this Jets group somehow has a chance to get into the playoffs, putting a lot of pressure on White to deliver.