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AFC East Report: Week 17

The 2015 regular season is in the books. Let's take a look at what happened around the AFC East.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 NFL regular season is officially over – and with it the seasons of three AFC East teams. While the 12-4 New England Patriots will enter the playoffs as the conferences number two seed, the Jets, Bills and Dolphins all enter their offseason preparing for 2016.

Here is this season's final edition of the AFC East Report.

2. New York Jets (10-6)

Week 17: loss (22-17against the Buffalo Bills, in Orchard Park NY)

In order to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2010, New York needed a victory on the road over division rival Buffalo. While neither team was able to find momentum early on it was the Bills who struck first blood and were able to jump to a 13-0 lead by the early second quarter. The Jets answered thanks to two long pass completions from Ryan Fitzpatrick (16/37, 181 yds, 2 TDs, 3 INTs) to Brandon Marshall (8/126 yds, 1 TD), to cut the deficit to six points. Unfortunately for New York, its defense was unable to stop the home team from going on a 15-play, nine-minute drive to expand the lead to 16-9 at halftime. The unit was able to make up for it on the second play of the second half, though, when Darrelle Revis forced and recovered a fumble, which led to a field goal. However, the defense gave up another long field goal drive – 14-plays, eight minutes – before the Jets were back on the board thanks to a 21-yard Eric Decker touchdown catch (5/50 yds, 1 TD). In the early fourth quarter, New York even had a chance to take the lead but Fitzpatrick threw a red zone interception – it was the first of three fourth quarter turnovers by the quarterback. The Jets were unable to overcome their own mistakes en route to their 22-17 loss in Buffalo and will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. Buffalo Bills (8-8)

Week 17: win (22-17 against the Buffalo Bills, in Orchard Park NY)

Rex Ryan was able to end his former team's playoff hopes with the Bills' 22-17 victory over the Jets. Both teams began the game slow but Buffalo was able to take advantage of a 21-yard New York punt to take its first lead of the day on an 18-yard Tyrod Taylor (18/28, 182 yds) touchdown run. In the early second quarter, the team added 10 more points – a Karlos Williams (6/24, 1 TD) touchdown run on a 4th and 1 and a 20-yard Dan Carpenter field goal – to take a 16-7 halftime lead. Despite running back Mike Gillislee (24/28 yds) losing a fumble in the third quarter and the Jets winning the period 10-3, the Bills were able to hold off the Jets: up two points in the early fourth quarter, Leodis McKelvin intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick in the Bills' end zone. It was the first of three interceptions Buffalo's defense registered in the game's final 15 minutes as McKelvin, Manny Lawson and A.J. Tarpley ended three consecutive New York drives with takeaways. While the two teams were statistical equals, the Bills were able to a) minimize their mistakes (as opposed to the Jets) and b) hold the ball for 40 minutes. It was enough to make the difference in an otherwise close game. With the win, Buffalo finishes its year at .500.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. Miami Dolphins (6-10)

Week 17: win (20-10 against the New England Patriots, in Miami FL)

Pats Pulpit is already in the process of analyzing this game.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.


Final 2015 AFC East Standings

New England Patriots (12-4)

New York Jets (10-6)

Buffalo Bills (8-8)

Miami Dolphins (6-10)

With their respective seasons over, we now also know where the Patriots' three division rivals are scheduled to pick in next year's draft:

New York Jets: 20th

Buffalo Bills: 19th

Miami Dolphins: 8th