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AFC East Report: Patriots division lead grows as Bills, Dolphins and Jets all lose in week 10

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

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Slowly but steadily, the AFC East is shaping up like it did for the most parts of the 21st century: The New England Patriots, who improved to 7-2 thanks to a 41-16 beatdown of the Denver Broncos, sit ahead while the rest of the division is experiencing its fair share of issues. Week 10 was the perfect example for this as all three of the Patriots' AFC East rivals lost their respective games.

With that in mind, let's take a look at this week's AFC East report:

2. Buffalo Bills (5-4)

Week 10: loss (47-10 against the New Orleans Saints, in Orchard Park NY)

Two weeks ago, the 5-2 Bills looked like one of the AFC's best and most balanced teams – a squad that was in a position to potentially take the division lead. Since then, however, Buffalo has lost two straight games and is fighting for its playoff life. The second of the back-to-back defeats came on Sunday versus the Saints and it was a 47-10 blowout that was dominated by the visiting team almost from the get-go.

Almost, because the game actually started well for Buffalo. The team received the opening kickoff and Tyrod Taylor (9/18, 56 yds, 1 INT) and company quickly reached New Orleans' red area. The drive ultimately stalled but the Bills were able to take a 3-0 lead. The very next series, however, saw the Saints march right down the field – converting a 4th and 1 in the process – and go up 7-3.

Buffalo answered with a punt but received momentum back on the very next series. Defensive tackle Kyle Williams recovered a Saints' fumble inside his team's 10-yard line. Unfortunately for Buffalo, the team failed to take advantage – and it all went downhill from that point on as the rest of the first half went as follows: Bills punt, Saints touchdown, Bills punt, Saints field goal, Bills punt. Buffalo was unable to move the ball on offense and failed to stop New Orleans on defense.

Coming out of the halftime down 17-3, Buffalo's defense quickly surrendered another touchdown. This time, the Bills did not respond with a punt – they responded with an interception that set the visitors up at Buffalo's 3-yard line. One play later, the home team was down 30-3. A three-and-out was followed by another Saints touchdown drive was followed by another three-and-out and another Saints touchdown drive.

Down 40-3, the Bills replaced Taylor with rookie Nathan Peterman (7/10, 1 TD), who threw a touchdown to Nick O'Leary (1/7yds, 1 TD) on his second series. At that point, though, the home team had surrendered yet another touchdown – O'Leary's score did therefore not change anything. The completely outmatched Bills, who surrendered six rushing touchdowns and were out-gained by almost 300 yards (482-198) now find themselves at 5-4 heading into two straight road games.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. Miami Dolphins (4-5)

Week 10: loss (45-21 against the Carolina Panthers, in Charlotte NC)

The Bills were not the only AFC East team to get blown out this week: On their third straight prime time appearance, the Dolphins suffered their third straight loss – a 45-21 beatdown at the hands of the Carolina Panthers. Miami was unable to keep up with the home team on both offense and defense and due to the loss now finds itself below .500 for the first time all season long.

The game started as a slow affair and saw the teams exchange punts early on. It took until late in the fourth quarter for the scoreless tie to be broken and the Panthers to take the lead – first 3-0, then 10-0 in the second quarter. At that point, Miami's offense finally started to get into a rhythm. The team answered Carolina's first touchdown with one of its own; a two-yard pass from Jay Cutler (22/37, 213 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT) to Julius Thomas (2/8 yds, 1 TD) that capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive.

The contest was even at that point but a big mistake by Cutler changed momentum: The veteran threw an interception inside a) his team's 35-yard line and b) 50 seconds to play in the second quarter. Carolina turned the pick into a touchdown to take a 17-7 halftime lead – one that would quickly expand to 31-7 in the third quarter: Miami's defense failed to stop the Panthers on its first two drives of the second half while in the meantime the offense's first possession ended with a fourth down stop.

Following the second of Carolina's touchdowns in half number two, the Dolphins finally were able to add to their score again: A 66-yard touchdown run by Kenyan Drake (7/82 yds, 1 TD) cut Miami's deficit to 17 points. However, it would not stay like that for long as the Panthers answered with another touchdown themselves. Following yet another Dolphins punt, Carolina added yet another touchdown.

Down 45-14, the Dolphins scored their third touchdown of the day, a 9-yard pass from Cutler to Jarvis Landry (5/42 yds, 1 TD) late in the final period. The game was already lost at that point as Miami, despite two scores, struggled big time in the second half. Therefore, the team now sits at 4-5 with a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming up.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. New York Jets (4-6)

Week 10: loss (15-10 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in Tampa FL)

The Jets' inconsistencies, which have plagued them the entire year, continued in week 10 against the Buccaneers: Coming off ten days of rest and a hard-fought victory over the Bills in week 9, New York struggled on the road against Tampa Bay. Consequently, the team suffered its sixth loss of the season; a 15-10 defeat in what was mostly a defensively dominated affair.

Early on in the contest, the defenses already showed that they came to play. Both the home team and the visitors exchanged punts to open the game before the Buccaneers went up 3-0 after a 17-play drive that took almost eight minutes off the clock. The Jets' offensive issues continued: After the first three drives ended with punts, New York's fourth series ended with a picked off pass attempt by Josh McCown (23/39, 262 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT).

Fortunately for Gang Green, its defense regained possession on the very next play when former Patriot Darryl Roberts recorded the first interception of his career. The Jets failed to turn the takeaway into points but reached the scoreboard on their next possession – on the final play of the first half: A 16-play, 51-yard drive that burned more than seven minutes ended with a Chandler Catanzaro (1/1) field goal that tied the game at three.

The tie was short-lived, however, as Tampa Bay opened the third quarter with a field goal drive of its own. The rest of the period was dominated by defense with the biggest play being yet another Jets giveaway: Running back Bilal Powell (10/30 yds) fumbled away the football to set up the Buccaneers' third field goal of the contest. New York responded with another punt and in turn saw the home team manufacture another long drive.

Taking more than seven minutes off the clock, Tampa Bay scored the game's first touchdown to go up 15-3 with only six minutes left in the game. The Jets answered with a good looking drive that ended in a failed fourth down attempt before finally scoring their first touchdown: McCown connected with Robby Anderson (4/85 yds, 1 TD) to bring the Jets within five points. However, the team failed to recover the ensuing onside kick and thus fell to 4-6.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.