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AFC East Report: Week 14

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Let's take a look at what happened around the division this week.

The second best team in the division.
The second best team in the division.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The race for the AFC East crown is over and for the seventh consecutive year the New England Patriots have captured it. While the Patriots can celebrate their hats and t-shirts (and look towards earning a first-round playoff bye), the rest of the division is still playing for something, either a spot in the AFC wildcard race or draft position.

That being said, here is this week's edition of the AFC East Report.

2. New York Jets (8-5)

Week 14: win (30-8 against the Tennessee Titans, in East Rutherford NJ)

The Jets' winning streak continues in impressive fashion. Sunday's game against the visiting Titans started well for New York. On the opening drive, the offense marched 80 yards for the game's first touchdown, a 16-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick (21/36, 263 yds, 3 TDs) to Eric Decker (7/74 yds, 1 TD). It was a sign of things to come, as the Jets' offense was nearly unstoppable during the first 30 minutes of the game, scoring on five of six first half possessions (the sixth: a missed field goal). The home team led 27-0 heading into the locker room, in part also because the defense dominated its opponent: Tennessee had more giveaways (one, a Buster Skrine interception) than plays run in New York territory (zero). The Jets slowed down a bit in the second half but never let the Titans back into the game. Overall, the Jets dominated in every statistical category, be it yards gained (439-268), 3rd down efficiency (46%-21%) or first downs (24-15). Arguably the most impressive stat is that New York made Tennessee's offense completey one-dimentional, limiting the opponent to only 24 rushing yards on 13 carries (1.8 yds/carry). With their eighth win of the season, the Jets hold onto the sixth playoff seed in the AFC.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. Buffalo Bills (6-7)

Week 14: loss (23-20 against the Philadelphia Eagles, in Philadelphia PA)

By losing in Philadelphia, Buffalo falls under .500 for only the second time this year. In a close contest, the visiting Bills fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter but answered with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor (19/36, 268 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT) to Sammy Watkins (5/81 yds, 1 TD). However, Rex Ryan's team fell behind again in the second quarter, after a muffed punt by returner Marcus Thigpen gave the Eagles good field position. The teams exchanged field goals and headed into the locker room 17-10 in favor of the home team. Down ten midway through the third quarter, Buffalo fought back to tie the game at 20. Momentum shifted even more towards the Bills in the final period, when Leodis McKelvin intercepted Sam Bradford (23/38, 247 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT) deep in Buffalo territory. However, the team was unable to capitalize. Instead, the Eagles took a 23-20 lead with 3:30 left in the game. The Bills were unable to overcome the deficit, as an interception by Taylor killed every chance for a comeback. Statistically, Buffalo had a nice game, holding the edge not only in yards (412-348) but also time of possession (35-25). However, the Bills made too many mistakes; turning the ball over twice and getting flagged 15 times for 101 yards. In a close game like this, those miscues were enough to make the difference. While the 6-7 Bills are mathematically still in the playoff race at seed number nine, they need a miracle to reach a wild card spot. To make matters worse, the team has placed starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore on season-ending injured reserve today.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. Miami Dolphins (5-8)

Week 14: loss (31-24 against the New York Giants, in Miami FL – Monday Night Football)

The Dolphins losing on Monday night against the visiting Giants brought New England its division championship. The game started bad for the home team, which turned the ball over on its third offensive play: quarterback Ryan Tannehill (25/41, 236 yds, 1 TD) was sacked in Miami territory and the subsequent fumble was recovered by the visitors. Luckily for Dan Campbell's squad, the defense held New York to only three points. The Dolphins were able to rebound quickly and on their next possession drove 74 yards in 11 plays, capped by a Lamar Miller (12/89 yds, 2 TDs) 14-yard touchdown run. Another touchdown by Miller – who was part of a productive yet under-used rushing attack (22 rushing plays, 42 pass plays) – as well as a field goal off a Reshad Jones fumble recovery gave Miami a 17-10 lead with less than two minutes to play in the first half. However, it took the Giants only four plays to tie the game. The Dolphins took another seven-point lead midway through the 3rd period but gave up two late touchdown passes to Odell Beckham Jr. (7/166 yds, 2 TDs), who tormented Miami's secondary all day long. The team was unable to come back from the deficit and fell to 5-8 on the season.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.