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AFC East Report: Week 4; Bills beat Falcons to expand division lead

Let's take a look at this week's divisional happenings.

Buffalo Bills v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

On the day the New England Patriots lost a 33-30 game against the visiting Carolina Panthers, the team's four division rivals also played their week four matchups. The Patriots and their 2-2 record are still in second place but already a game behind for the AFC East lead.

With that in mind let's take a look at what happened around the division in this week's installment of the AFC East Report.

1. Buffalo Bills (3-1)

Week 4: win (23-17 against the Atlanta Falcons, in Atlanta GA)

Visiting the previously undefeated Falcons on the road, the Bills delivered a convincing performance in all three phases of the game. As a result, the team was able to beat the home team 23-17 and now finds itself in sole possession of the AFC East's best record one quarter into the regular season. One quarter into Sunday's game, both teams were moving the football well but failed to put any points on the scoreboard.

The 0-0 tie was broken early in the second period when the Falcons took a 3-0 lead. Buffalo, however, was able to respond in style and drove down the field in eight plays to take a 7-0 lead on a touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor (12/20, 182 yds, 1 TD) to wideout Jordan Matthews (2/10 yds, 1 TD). After exchanging punts, the Falcons answered with their first touchdown of the game to take a 10-7 halftime lead.

The Bills received the opening kickoff of the third quarter but after a three-and-out had to send their defense back onto the field. The unit then delivered one of the biggest plays of the game. Defensive lineman Jerry Hughes was able to sack Matt Ryan (24/42, 242 yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs) and force a fumble. Rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White recovered the loose football and returned it 52-yards for the go-ahead score.

The defense made another big play on the very next series: Safety Micah Hyde picked off Ryan to set up a 19-play drive that took more than 11 minutes off the clock and was capped by a field goal. Atlanta tied the game on the subsequent possession but the Bills answered with yet another field goal to go ahead 20-17. Hyde's second interception then set up Stephen Hauschka's (3/3) third field goal of the day.

The Falcons answered by driving into the red zone but with under a minute left in the game, were stopped on fourth down to turn the football over to the visitors. Therefore, the Bills now stand at 3-1 as they head into their second straight road game; this one against the Cincinnati Bengals.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. New York Jets (2-2)

Week 4: win (23-20 (OT) against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in East Rutherford NJ)

After beginning their season with two straight losses, the Jets are currently on a two-game win streak. The team's latest victory came in overtime against the visiting Jaguars – despite the game not starting off well: After a three-and-out, the Jets defense surrendered a 10-play drive that ended in the game's first touchdown. New York, however, was able to answer with a touchdown on the very next offensive play.

It was a curious one: Bilal Powell (21/163 yds, 1 TD) appeared to have been tackled, which in turn caused the Jaguars defense to basically stop. However, the runner quickly got up again and carried the football 75 yards to the end zone – 75 of a total of 256 rushing yards the Jets had that day. Upon further review, the play was confirmed and the game ultimately tied at 7. Following the touchdown-exchange, the game did not see another score until late in the second quarter.

Jacksonville scored a field goal to move ahead 10-7 but the Jets' Chandler Catanzaro (3/4) was able to tie the contest on the very next drive. New York's kicker would have had the chance to expand the lead on his team's next possession – one that saw the Jets convert a 4th and 21 on a fake punt – but his attempt with 12 seconds left i the first half sailed wide right.

New York took its first lead of the day after halftime. Only two plays after a Jacksonville punt, Elijah McGuire (10/93 yds, 1 TD) scored a 69-yard rushing touchdown to put the Jets ahead 17-10. Later in the third quarter and following an interception by ex-Patriot Kony Ealy, New York went up 20-10. After a missed Jaguars field goal early in the fourth period, the Jets again drove deep into the opponent's territory and in a position to expand their lead. Instead, the game's momentum saw a drastic shift.

An incomplete backwards pass by Josh McCown (22/31, 224 yds, 0 TDs, 1 INT) was picked up by the Jaguars and returned for a 81-yard touchdown. Two drives later, McCown again turned the ball over by throwing an interception, which in turn set up the game-tying field goal. The ensuing overtime period saw five punts before Catanzaro kicked the game-winner from 41 yards out. The Jets will therefore head into their week five matchup against the Cleveland Browns at 2-2.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. Miami Dolphins (1-2)

Week 4: loss (20-0 against the New Orleans Saints, in London)

Coming off their first loss of the season, the Dolphins delivered a lackluster performance in week three during what is counted as one of the team's home games. The team actually started the game well and drove to the Saints' 4-yard line in 13 plays. However, a first and goal pass attempt from Jay Cutler (20/28, 164 yds, 0 TDs, 1 INT) to Julius Thomas (2/29 yds) was intercepted in the end zone.

New Orleans responded with a 14-play drive of its own but also failed to come away with points as the team missed a field goal early in the second period. It was the closest any team came to scoring until the very last play of the first half. The game saw five consecutive drives end with punts before the Saints were able to take a 3-0 lead on the final whistle of the second period.

Coming out of halftime, New Orleans expanded its lead to 10 points: Miami's defense allowed its opponent to drive 77 yards in 11 plays – among them a fourth down conversion – to score the game's first touchdown. For the Dolphins offense, it was more of the same after intermission. The unit went three and out twice before the Saints scored another field goal to move to 13-0 early in the fourth period.

Following yet another Dolphins punt, the Saints again moved the football with relative easy en route to taking a 20-0 lead after an 11-play, 87 yard drive. The two teams extended fourth-down stops to close out the game and the Dolphins are therefore at 1-2 entering into week five. The team will now host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.