Tough stretch awaits as Patriots chase playoffs after bye

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The Patriots returned from their bye week very much in the AFC playoff picture. But so is everyone else in an AFC East that suddenly has the most parity in the NFL. Entering Week 11 it’s the only division in the league featuring all four teams with records above .500. At 5-4 New England is last among them, yet currently holds the AFC’s final wild-card spot. This week’s home matchup with the New York Jets will begin a tough stretch that will see New England play three games over a 12-day period, concluding with back-to-back Thursday night games at Minnesota on Thanksgiving night and home against Buffalo on Dec. 1.

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