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AFC East Report: Week 2; Dolphins win in QB Jay Cutler's debut

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

Miami Dolphins v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Week two of the 2017 regular season is in the books and it saw the New England Patriots win their first game of the year. The defending world champions move to 1-1 thanks to a convincing 36-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints – a win that improves their divisional standing: The Patriots are now tied for second place with the Buffalo Bills.

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

1. Miami Dolphins (1-0)

Week 2: win (19-17 against the Los Angeles Chargers, in Los Angeles CA)

After their week one contest was cancelled and rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma, the Miami Dolphins started their regular season on Sunday – and it was a successful start. Despite starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill on injured reserve, the team – led by Jay Cutler (24/33, 230 yds, 1 TD, 0 INTs) – looked good on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Miami's season opener started well for the team. After forcing a three-and-out on the Chargers' opening possession, the Dolphins engineered a 13-play, 70-yard drive to take a 3-0 lead. At that point, however, the home team found its rhythm as the Dolphins gave up 10 second-quarter points. It could have been even more if not for a missed field goal late in the period – a miss that was preceded by an 8-yard sack by defensive end William Hayes.

The second half started with the Dolphins tying the game at 10 thanks to a 29-yard touchdown pass from Cutler to wide receiver Kenny Stills (2/37 yds, 1 TD). The tie was broken on the very next series, however, as the Chargers went ahead 17-10. Even though the momentum swung back to the Chargers at that point on, the Dolphins started to pick up some steam and answered Los Angeles' touchdown with a field goal.

Down 17-13, Miami's defense forced a punt and set up a 14-play drive that took more than seven minutes of the clock and ended in yet another field goal. Following the next defensive stand, Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey (4/4) kicked his final field goal of the day to put the visitors ahead 19-17. The Chargers drove back into field goal range but their second missed field goal sealed the game for Miami.

Statistically, Dolphins at Chargers was a close contest with neither team dominating in any specific category. And despite going 0-3 in the red zone, Miami was able to come away with the win due to some solid yet unspectacular play in the second half – and in all three phases of the game.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

t-2. Buffalo Bills (1-1)

Week 2: loss (9-3 against the Carolina Panthers, in Charlotte NC)

Coming off a victory on opening day, the Buffalo Bills were defeated in week two against the Carolina Panthers. The game itself was a defensive battle that saw the home team's unit ultimately come out on top after limiting Buffalo's defense to only three points and a lousy 176 yard of offense: The Bills gained a mere 107 yards through the air and 69 on the ground. All in all, it was a pathetic showing by the offense.

The Panthers took the opening possession down the field to take a 3-0 lead. Buffalo responded with three consecutive punts and saw Carolina score another field goal midway through the second period. Again, the Bills offense – plagued by self-inflicted errors and inopportune mistakes – failed to answer and therefore headed into the locker rooms at halftime down 6-0.

Buffalo started the second half in possession of the football and was able to drive to the Panthers' side of the field for the first time all game. However, the drive stalled when running back LeSean McCoy (12/9 yds) was stopped for a loss of yardage on a fourth down attempt. It was that kind of a day for a Bills' ground game that saw quarterback Tyrod Taylor (17/25, 125 yds, 0 TDs, 0 INTs) as the leading rusher: 55 yards on eight attempts.

The two teams exchanged punts throughout the third quarter before the Bills were finally able to get on the board early in the fourth: A nine-play, 30-yard drive culminated in a 45-yard Stephen Hauschka (1/1) field goal. However, Buffalo's defense, which held the Panthers to an equally bad 255 yards of offense and registered six sacks, was unable to stop the opponent when the game was on the line.

Carolina drove 73 yards in 15 plays while taking over eight minutes off the clock. The ensuing field goal brought the Panthers' lead to six points and left the Bills' offense with only 2:35 left on the clock. And even though the team was able to drive into Carolina territory, an incomplete pass on fourth down ended the team's hope for a comeback. The Bills are therefore now at 1-1.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. New York Jets (0-2)

Week 2: loss (45-20 against the Oakland Raiders, in Oakland CA)

One week after losing against the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets fell to 0-2 because of a 25-point loss in Oakland. As has been the case on opening weekend, the team's inconsistency on both sides of the football as well as self-inflicted mistakes led to the Jets' demise. And even though the team had some positive moments, all in all it was far from enough to compete with the Raiders.

After the two teams exchanged three-and-outs, the Raiders were able to take a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. Another three-and-out by the Jets set up Oakland's second touchdown drive of the day. Down 14-0, the Jets' offense finally came to life and was able to score on two consecutive drives: First, the team drove 75 yards in seven plays, capped by a 34-yard touchdown pass from Josh McCown (17/25, 166 yds, 2 TDs, 0 INTs) to Jermaine Kearse (4/64 yds, 2 TDs).

On their next possession, the Jets were able to add a field goal to come within four points. However, the Raiders scored their third touchdown of the day just before halftime – a score that was set up by punt returner Kalif Raymond muffing an Oakland punt at the Jets' 4-yard line. The second-year man has since been released by the team.

Coming out of the locker rooms down 21-10, New York scored another field goal to make it a one-score game again. However, Oakland's next two possessions blew the game open: Oakland scored on two 40+ yards run to go ahead 35-13. A lost fumble by McCown then set up the Raiders at the Jets' 18-yard line. Two plays later, New York was down 42-13. While McCown and Kearse connected on their second touchdown in the fourth quarter, it was too little too late.

The Raiders added one more field goal before the conclusion of the game and the struggling Jets team officially fell to 0-2. Next week, the team will play its first home game against the AFC East-leading Dolphins.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.