The New England Patriots had reason to feel fairly good about their Week 1 action against the Philadelphia Eagles, even though they ended up walking away with a hard-fought 25-20 loss. After watching the New York Jets beat the Buffalo Bills 22-16 on Monday Night Football to wrap up the first week of the 2023 season, it's clear the Pats should be feeling even better.

The Jets and Bills managed to wrap up Week 1 with one of the more chaotic games in recent memory. Aaron Rodgers' long-awaited Jets debut was cut short by what is feared to be a serious achilles injury, forcing Zach Wilson into the action. That seemingly guaranteed the Bills a win, but Josh Allen committed four turnovers to let New York sneak out with a victory.

From a Patriots perspective, this game was fantastic for a handful of reasons. Not only was the game itself entertaining, but the repercussions that emerged as a result are overwhelmingly positive for New England. So while the Jets may have won the game, the real winner on the night ended up being the Patriots, despite the fact they didn't even take the field.

Why the Patriots are winners as a result of the Jets win over the Bills

Injuries are a part of football, and while you never wish for a player to suffer an injury, there's no shame in acknowledging when it benefits a team or a player. Rodgers' injury, however severe it may end up being, is obviously beneficial for New England. It's a shame that he could miss the entire season, as the NFL is better when Rodgers is on the field, but the Patriots' lives just became ten times easier.

The Jets fear that Rodgers tore his achilles, which would hold him out for the rest of the 2023 season, unless something miraculous happened. With Rodgers out, that forces Wilson back into the spotlight, just one season after he was benched on multiple occasions, and was openly replaced by Rodgers this past offseason.

There's no doubt that going from Rodgers to Wilson is a downgrade for the Jets, and that was clear as day against the Bills. While New York somehow won the game, it wasn't really due to Wilson. He was limited primarily to handing the ball off to Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook, or throwing screens. Even his touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson only came to fruition because of a ridiculous play by the second-year receiver.

If Rodgers somehow isn't out for the rest of the season, it's still safe to assume he won't be on the field when the Patriots take on the Jets in Week 3. Maybe Rodgers finds his way back onto the field for their second meeting in Week 18, but there's really no sense in banking on that right now. While New York's defense is legit, beating the Jets just became a lot easier for New England.

The other piece of this messy equation is just how bad the Bills looked on this night. Allen was flummoxed by the Jets defense all night long, and while he momentarily put everything together to lead Buffalo to a game-tying field goal at the end of the fourth quarter, it went to waste immediately after the offense went three-and-out again on the only drive of overtime.

The Bills looked all out of sorts on offense during this game. Allen committed four turnovers, was sacked five times, and generally seemed lost in a game where Buffalo should have been able to throttle New York after Rodgers' departure. Stefon Diggs was once again the only consistent option he had in the passing game, and the ground game generally struggled to find any sort of room to run the ball.

Perhaps the most concerning part, though, is that the defense allowed Wilson to bring the Jets back in this game. We already mentioned it above, but Wilson had nothing going in this game. Buffalo could have easily stacked the box and just forced him to throw downfield, but they didn't. Hall torched the Bills on the ground (10 CAR, 127 YDS), and Wilson did just enough to support a defensive masterclass on the other side of the ball.

What does this mean for New England? Well, chances are the Bills aren't going to be this bad every single game, but it is eye-opening to see that they were unable to beat a team that built their entire offense around a guy who only played four snaps on the night. Considering how solid Mac Jones looked against a defense that might actually be better than the Jets in the Philadelphia Eagles, it seems like the Patriots are in a good spot on offense right now.

And then defensively, the Patriots managed to lock up Jalen Hurts and company for much of Sunday afternoon. Again, you can make a case that the Eagles offense is better than the Bills, so if they can keep Hurts quiet, could they do the same against the Bills? Maybe the gap in the AFC East isn't as big as we initially thought.

It's tough to feel particularly good about this game from a Jets or Bills perspective, but if you are a Patriots fan (or a Miami Dolphins fan, too) it only added to the positive feeling from Week 1. New England may be 0-1 and have a tough Week 2 contest against the Dolphins on the horizon, but they may have a shot to make it out of their crowded division after all if Week 1 was an indication of what's to come.