Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills are fighting for their first division title in 25 years, a franchise that is in striking distance of capturing the AFC East -- which has been dominated by the New England Patriots for two decades. The Bills are 8-3, one game ahead of the resurgent Miami Dolphins in the division, and still have a lot of work to do in order to seal the title.
If the Bills were in the NFC East, they may have the division wrapped up by now -- a point Allen jokingly made on the Pat McAfee Show this week.
"We're sitting at 8-3, and eight wins doesn't win the division -- unless you're in the NFC East," Allen said with a smile. "In all seriousness, coach (Bills head coach Sean) McDermott preaches playoff caliber and our goal is to get into the playoffs. Once you get into the playoffs, anyone has a chance to win it. The easiest way to get into the playoffs is to win your division."
Even the NFC East champion will get a playoff berth this season, despite the New York Giants winning the division at 4-7. The combined record of all four NFC East teams are 14-29-1, with the Philadelphia eagles (3-7-1) and Dallas Cowboys (3-8) having the two worst records in the conference. Only two teams have ever made the playoffs with a losing record during a non-strike season (2010 Seattle Seahawks, 2014 Carolina Panthers) -- and both of them won a playoff game. The NFC East champion will most likely be the third team to enter the playoffs with a losing record based on their struggles outside the division.
Allen has every right to joke about the NFC East, considering the Bills, Dolphins and Patriots would be winning that division at this point in the year. New England is 5-6 through 11 games and still would be leading New York by a game. The NFC East is the laughing stock of the league, but the division champion could get the last laugh by winning a playoff game next month.