AFC East won't meet for two months

The AFC East will have a weird feel for much of 2010.

For two calendar months, none of its teams will be on the same field.

The Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and New York Jets will have played each other by Oct. 4, getting the rivalries off to a rousing start.

But then there won't be another intradivisonal game until Dec. 6, when the Jets meet the Patriots on "Monday Night Football."

In between, the AFC East will play nothing but cross-divisional games.

So much intermingling at the end of the season increases the likelihood of an exciting finish, which is what the NFL was after. The league wanted to diminish the chances of a team resting its starters after clinching the division, repeat scenarios that helped the Jets get into the playoffs last season.

But might October and November get a little monotonous without divisional matchups?

There will be a divisional game in only nine of the 17 weeks.

Last year, the AFC East went more than a week without a divisional game just once -- the final two weeks of the regular season.

The Bills will have the longest wait. They'll finish the regular season with three straight divisional opponents, giving them a stretch of 77 days between division games.

The Dolphins and Patriots have their byes in Week 5, right after the first round of AFC East pool play. The Bills have their bye in Week 6, while the Jets have the best break in Week 7.