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AFC East Report: Week 9

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Let's take a look around the division, to see how the other three AFC East teams fared this week.

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While three AFC divisions – the East, the North and the West – are in the safe hands of their respective leading teams, the race for the wild card playoff spots is starting to heat up. Two AFC East teams have good chances to earn one or maybe even two postseason berths and join the 8-0 Patriots, who look like a safe bet to make the playoffs as division winners, in the tournament.

That being said, let's take a look at this week's edition of the AFC East Report.

2. New York Jets (5-3)

Week 9: win (28-23 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in East Rutherford NJ)

The Jets snap their two-game losing streak by beating the visiting Jaguars. After leaving last week's game against the Oakland Raiders with a non-throwing hand injury, Ryan Fitzpatrick (21/34, 272 yds, 2 TDs) returned as the starting quarterback and was one of the few bright spots on offense. Overall, the unit gained only 290 net yards and rushed for a mere 29 yards on 28 carries. As statistically mediocre as the offense was, it did score four times: twice through the air – caught by Eric Decker (6/79 yds, 1 TD) and Brandon Marshall (4/44 yds, 1 TD) – and twice on the ground via Chris Ivory (23/26 yds, 2 TDs). Another positive was the turnover department. While New York's offense did not give the ball away, its defense and special teams came up with a combined four turnovers. Safety Marcus Williams had two of them – both interceptions – and played a huge role in stopping the Jaguars' attack. While the defense did surrender 436 yards, it had three of the team's four takeaways (the two interceptions plus a Calvin Pace fumble recovery) as well as six sacks and stymied the Jaguars in the red zone (0/2). In the end, New York was far from perfect but did enough to beat Jacksonville – and improve to 5-3 and fifth seed in the AFC.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. Buffalo Bills (4-4)

Week 9: win (33-17 against the Miami Dolphins, in Orchard Park NY)

Like the Jets, the Bills also snapped a two-game losing streak, by beating the visiting Miami Dolphins. The game started well for Buffalo after a punt on the opening possession. An errant snap by the Dolphins center led to a safety, while the drive following the free kick was capped by a 48-yard LeSean McCoy (16/112 yds, 1 TD) touchdown run. The Bills had a great day rushing as rookie Karlos Williams (9/110 yds, 2 TDs) also eclipsed the 100-yard mark and found the endzone twice. Overall, the Bills gained 266 yards on the ground (7.4 yds/carry). When the home team turned to the pass, it was successful as well. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor (11/12, 181 yds, 1 TD) returned after missing the last two games and was near perfect, while Sammy Watkins (8/168 yds, 1 TD) had the most prolific game of his professional career. The offense was firing on all cylinders and the defense had a solid game as well. The unit surrendered only 17 points and produced a turnover off one of two sacks by Jerry Hughes. While the defense struggled a little against the run (4.6 yds/carry), it made enough plays to not let the Dolphins come back into the game.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. Miami Dolphins (3-5)

Week 9: loss (33-17 against the Buffalo Bills, in Orchard Park NY)

After starting the Dan Campbell-era 2-0, the Dolphins have lost their last two games – both to AFC East opponents, both in blowout fashion, both while surrendering a safety on offense. Just like last week in New England, Miami had to give up two points because of a bad snap. Things got even worse after the following free kick, when Buffalo scored a 48-yard touchdown run to leave Miami trailing 9-0. In general, the Bills had a field day running against the Miami defense, which gave up 266 yards – of an overall 420 – on the ground. The defensive line registered three sacks but otherwise couldn't mess with Buffalo's offensive rhythm, both in the running and the passing game. The Ryan Tannehill-led (27/36, 309 yds) Dolphins offense, on the other hand, had a hard time finding a rhythm of their own. The unit gained 397 yards but scored only 17 points. Still, early in the third quarter, Lamar Miller's (12/44 yds, 2 TDs) second touchdown run of the day brought his team within five points. Miami even had the chance to take the lead on its next possession, but Tannehill was sacked and fumbled the football, which was recovered by Buffalo. Four plays later, the Bills scored. Miami answered with a punt, and another Bills' touchdown on the very next drive brought the score to 33-14 – a deficit the now 3-5 Dolphins were unable to overcome.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.