The Patriots and Jets think this is a little weird, too.
Ahead of Sunday’s games, in which New England needs a win over Miami and a Bills loss to the Jets to win the AFC East, the oddity of the Patriots being forced to root for New York has been widely noted. Including by the Twitter accounts for the Patriots and Jets.
“Can’t believe we’re about to say this,” the Patriots tweeted, “but… “Let’s go @nyjets?!”
The tweet included a GIF of Brandon Boldin pulling down a giant pair of eyes.
The Jets then responded with a GIF of Alonzo Mourning shaking his head before shrugging his shoulders in a sort of acceptance.
It’s a weird spot for the Jets to be playing a potential spoiler to the Bills instead of the Patriots when, for so long, New England had the division in an iron grip. But they don’t have much choice besides embracing the challenge.
Buffalo, which owns the tie-breaker with New England, did win the division last season on its way to the AFC title game. But the Patriots have struck back in 2021 behind Mac Jones, and will return to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus in 2020.
The only question is whether they’ll do so with home-field advantage.
And that will, at least partially, be in the hands of Gang Green, who the Patriots beat twice this season and have tormented regularly for the past decade-plus.
The Bills blew the Jets out at MetLife Stadium earlier this year, winning 45-17. They come into Sunday as a two-score favorite. But the Patriots, among others, will have their fingers crossed hoping for an upset.