Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios returns a kick during the...

Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios returns a kick during the first half against the Bills at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 6. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

The Jets returned from their bye week hungry to beat rival New England and knowing that if they do, they will be in first place in the AFC East.

That is not a typo. You read that correctly. If the Jets can end their 13-game losing streak against Bill Belichick’s team on Sunday, they will be in first place in their division.

“That’s a special feeling,” sixth-year center Connor McGovern said during a Zoom call on Monday. “I haven’t had the opportunity in my career to ever be in that position to be first in the division. It’s an important game. Divisional games are worth two, essentially. This one’s extremely big to be able to take the lead.”

Winning the division is the easiest path to the playoffs, which is someplace the Jets haven’t been since 2010. They are chasing both.

They are 6-3 (tied with the Bills for second place in the AFC East), a half-game behind the 7-3 Dolphins, who have their bye in Week 11. The Jets hold the tiebreaker after beating Miami in Week 5. That means a win in New England puts the Jets atop the AFC East heading into Thanksgiving — just as everyone expected.

“We set ourselves up in a great spot through these first nine games,” receiver Braxton Berrios said. “We have this back half and we all know December football, January football, that’s really what matters. We feel great about it.”

The Jets still have plenty of work to do. They have eight games remaining. Five are on the road, all against teams that are above .500. Three of the road games are against the AFC East, and they’re all in the thick of the playoff race. All four teams would be in the playoffs if the season ended now.

Although the Jets have the same record as the Bills after Buffalo’s meltdown in Sunday’s 33-30 overtime loss to the Vikings, the Jets hold the tiebreaker over Buffalo by virtue of their unexpected win over the Bills the previous Sunday. The Patriots are 5-4 and the only team in the AFC East that has beaten the Jets.

That’s what makes Sunday’s matchup in Foxborough even more intriguing and dramatic. The Jets could be in first with a win or in last with a loss.

If New England beats the Jets again, the Patriots will leap over them. If the Jets lose and Buffalo defeats Cleveland, the Jets will drop to fourth in the division.

“We’ve got a good opportunity over the next eight games to do something,” Robert Saleh said. “I don’t think yesterday’s games matter much because we’re still in a position where we still have to take care of our own business. There’s a lot of football to be played before we even think about scenarios.

“We all still have to play one another. We all still have to play a lot of really good football teams. This game coming up is the most important game. There’s so much football to play before we even think about what’s at stake.”

The expectation coming into this season was that the Bills were the class of the AFC East, followed by Miami, New England and the Jets. But that’s why they play the games.

Now that the division is there for the taking, second-year nickel back Michael Carter II said, the Jets “have to take it . . . We just got to keep playing like we got something to prove.”

Berrios always believed the Jets had a good shot at being a playoff team this season.

He said he got “some crazy looks” before the season when he said on Rich Eisen’s radio show that the Jets have “all the tools” to be a playoff team. Berrios said the arrival of Saleh and the rest of the coaches last season changed the culture and established a foundation that has lifted this franchise.

The Jets went 4-13 last year, but Berrios said it “didn’t feel like a four-win season” in their building. After all the acquisitions they made, he expected the Jets to take a big jump this year, but the job’s not done.

“It felt like this team could be special, could do special things,” Berrios said. “Now we sit here at 6-3, it’s all well within range. We have all the pieces. It comes down to executing and doing what we’re supposed to do first, and everything else will fall into place.”

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