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AFC East Report: Dolphins' playoff hopes end in week 16; Bills still alive in postseason race

Let's take a look at the divisional happenings from week 16.

Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The 16th week of NFL action is in the rearview mirror and it saw another team in the AFC East drop out of the playoff race. While the New England Patriots already secured their spot in the postseason as the division champions and will also have a first round bye, the Miami Dolphins joined the New York Jets as a team watching the tournament from the sidelines due to their loss in week 16.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Here's this week's edition of the AFC East Report:

2. Buffalo Bills (8-7)

Week 16: loss (37-16 against the New England Patriots, in Foxboro MA)

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

Patriots vs. Bills recap: New England dominates second half en route to 37-16 victory

NFL explains why Kelvin Benjamin's touchdown was overturned in Patriots vs. Bills game

Who gets the game ball from New England’s 37-16 win?

13 winners and losers from New England’s 37-16 victory over Buffalo

6 observations from New England’s 37-16 win over Buffalo

Patriots vs Bills press conferences: Devin McCourty knew Kelvin Benjamin didn’t catch the touchdown

Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks hits 1,000-yard mark with one game to spare

Patriots vs. Bills: Fan Notes from the Game

Patriots vs Bills Snap Count Report: Dion Lewis plays career-high 51 offensive snaps

Advanced Stats Report: Patriots beat up Bills along the line of scrimmage in week 16

Dion Lewis’ career day again shows why the Patriots need to extend his contract

Watch the Patriots locker room celebration after defeating the Bills 37-16

Pats Pulpit Podcast Episode 098

Patriots name eight practice players of the week following win over the Bills

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. Miami Dolphins (6-8)

Week 16: loss (29-13 against the Kansas City Chiefs, in Kansas City MO)

Entering Sunday, the Dolphins were still mathematically alive in the race for the playoffs. However, the team needed two wins in its last two games as well as multiple other contests going its way in order to earn a second straight berth in the postseason. Neither happened as Miami failed to win its week 16 contest on the road against Kansas City, officially eliminating the Dolphins from the tournament.

Miami received the opening kickoff but only five plays into its opening series turned the football over when wide receiver Jarvis Landry (5/51 yds) lost a fumble. The Chiefs took advantage and drove to a 3-0 lead. The Dolphins answered in style, though, and went on a 12-play drive to tie the game. The tie, however, was short lived as Kansas City countered with another scoring drive; this one ending in a touchdown.

Miami was able to score another field goal on its next possession to cut the deficit to four points – but again the Dolphins' defense failed to stop the home team and had to watch Kansas City go up 17-6. It did not take long for Adam Gase's team to reply in style: On the very first offensive player after the Chiefs' second touchdown, Jay Cutler (19/38, 286 yds, 1 TD) connected with Jakeem Grant (4/107 yds, 1 TD) on a 65-yard catch and run.

The first half was not quite over yet, though: After the teams exchanged punts, Miami's defense again allowed Kansas City to drive into scoring range – on an eight-play, 41-yard drive that took only 42 seconds and ended with a field goal. Coming out of the locker room down 20-13, the Dolphins saw the Chiefs add three more points to their lead. But while Miami slowly started to settle down defensively, the offense struggled after halftime.

Wide receiver Kenny Stills (4/54 yds) lost a fumble midway through the third period to set up another Chiefs field goal. And even though the home team failed to reach the end zone in the entire second half, Miami's offense was unable to score at all and responded with a failed field goal – which led to three pore Kansas City points – and a missed fourth down attempt. At that point, the game and the Dolphins' playoff fate were already decided.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. New York Jets (5-10)

Week 16: loss (14-7 against the Los Angeles Chargers, in East Rutherford NJ)

The Jets, who were eliminated from playoff contention last week, had little to play for except a) draft positioning and b) spoiling the Chargers' chance of making the postseason for the first time since 2013. And while the team's 14-7 loss on Sunday did not hurt Los Angeles, it also did not hurt New York's draft stock as the Jets remain on course for a top-10 pick in April.

The two teams' meeting started with a surprise: The Jets opted to go for an onside kick to start the game and recovered it to gain possession. However, the team only gained two yards before punting the football away – a sign of things to come as the game was dominated by defense early on. After seven straight punts to open the contest, the Chargers were able to break the scoreless tie.

New York's defense allowed the visitors to march 71 yards in 12 plays to take a 7-0 lead. The Jets failed to answer and instead gave the football right back to Los Angeles when running back Matt Forte (8/19 yds) lost a fumble. The team's defense, however, was able to force another punt and neither team came close to scoring before halftime again. The best shot was a last-second Hail Mary attempt by Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (15/28, 119 yds, 1 INT) that was picked off near the goal line.

The second half started like the first one ended: with defense dominating. However, the offenses slowly started to come to life. On the second drive, the Chargers drove into scoring range only to miss a field goal before the Jets were able to tie the contest at seven: Running back Bilal Powell (19/145 yds, 1 TD) broke free for a 57-yard scoring run. The game did not stay tied for long, though, as the Chargers answered right back with a touchdown of their own.

At this point, the defenses started to take over again and six straight punts followed – one of which was seemingly returned for a Chargers touchdown but nullified on a penalty. It took the Jets until the late fourth quarter to drive deep into Los Angeles territory again, but the team saw the series stall on the 17-yard line after an incomplete fourth down pass. The visitors then ran the clock all the way down to 15 seconds; a desperation lateral attempt by the Jets came up short.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.