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AFC East Report week 10: We have a new last-place team!

Notes from around the division.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The AFC East did not have its best weekend: only one of the division’s four teams was able to earn a victory in week 10, with the other three teams losing by an average score of 35.3-10.7. Ouch. Let’s find out how this happened — and why there was a change in the standings for the first time in forever — in this week’s edition of the AFC East Report:

1. New England Patriots (7-3)

Week 10: 34-10 loss against the Tennessee Titans, in Nashville TN

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To watch highlights of the game, click here.

2. Miami Dolphins (5-5)

Week 10: 31-12 loss against the Green Bay Packers, in Green Bay WI

After the Miami Dolphins broke their three-game losing streak last week, the team added another defeat to its loss column on Sunday. While the game against the Green Bay Packers was close for the first 35 minutes, Miami was unable to keep up with its opponent late in the game. Ultimately, the team lost by three scores due to untimely turnovers and red zone struggles on both sides of the ball.

The visitors started the game by moving the football well. However, the opening series stalled inside the Green Bay 20-yard line because of a giveaway: a bad snap by center Travis Swanson was recovered the Packers. To make matters worse, the team then moved 70 yards in eight plays to take a 7-0 lead. The Dolphins did not fare much better on their next offensive series as they were forced to punt the football away.

This time, however, it was the Packers that made a mistake as they lost a fumble on the ensuing return. Wide receiver Leonte Carroo (1/20 yds, 1 FR) recovered to set up a 37-yard Jason Sanders (4/4) field goal. Green Bay answered in style: two plays after a 67-yard run, the team punched the football in for its second touchdown and to take a 14-3 lead. Miami continued finding offensive success between the 20s and replied with its second field goal.

The team then added a third field goal after the defense was able to stop a Packers fourth down attempt near midfield. Down 14-9 at the half, momentum continued to turn the Dolphins’ way after intermission: ex-Patriot Brandon Bolden (1 BLK) blocked a Green Bay punt on the opening series of the third quarter which gave Miami the football inside the opponent’s 30-yard line. Again, however, the team had to settle for a field goal.

Still, Miami was only down by two before a special teams gaffe gave the Packers prime field position: a kick out of bounds set the team up at the 40; five plays later, Green Bay scored a touchdown. This time, the Dolphins failed to respond with points. Instead, quarterback Brock Osweiler (23/37, 213 yds, 1 INT) threw a costly interception that set up another Packers touchdown. Despite having more than a quarter to come back, Adam Gase’s team did not.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. Buffalo Bills (3-7)

Week 10: 41-10 win against the New York Jets, in East Rutherford NJ

For the first time since week five, the Buffalo Bills are not in the last-placed team in the AFC East. The reason for that is a dominant 41-10 road victory against the New York Jets. After scoring 46 points in their last six games combined, the team reached almost that versus the Jets despite starting its fourth different quarterback this season: journeyman Matt Barkley (15/25, 232 yds, 2 TDs), who took the starting job from since released Nathan Peterman.

Buffalo began the game with the football and made it count: the first play from scrimmage was a 47-yard pass from Barkley to wideout Robert Foster (3/105 yds), the second a 28-yard touchdown run by LeSean McCoy (26/113 yds, 2 TDs). The visitors added to their lead two series later when a Barkley threw a short pass to receiver Zay Jones (8/93 yds, 1 TD), who fumbled the football only for it to be recovered in the end zone by Bills tight end Jason Croom (1 TD).

While the Buffalo defense stifled its opponent, a previously inept offense kept adding points. Early in the second period, the team scored a field goal before a touchdown pass to tackle eligible Dion Dawkins (1/7 yds, 1 TD) put the team up 24-0 — and the first half was not over yet. After an interception by Bills linebacker Matt Milano (6 TKLs, 1 INT), the team added seven more points thanks to McCoy’s second touchdown of the day.

Even though New York added a field goal to close out the first half, blowout mode was very much activated. Buffalo allowed the Jets to score a touchdown in the third quarter to make it a three-possession game, but the team answered with a touchdown of its on (a pass from Barkley to Zay Jones). The remaining game was mostly dominated by defense with defensive back Mikah Hyde (2 TKLs, 1 INT) registering the Bills’ second takeaway.

Kicker Steven Hauschka (2/2) added a late field goal to put the finishing touches on a dominant Buffalo victory. Buffalo, which held the football for almost 40 minutes, out-gained its opponent 451 to 199 while allowing just one of 12 third down attempts to be converted. A winning recipe.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. New York Jets (3-7)

Week 10: 41-10 loss against the Buffalo Bills, in East Rutherford NJ

Due to their fourth straight defeat, the New York Jets now find themselves on the bottom of the AFC East for the first time since early October — and firmly in the race for a top draft position. The latest loss did not only happen in front of a home crowd, it also was a blowout against the team that previously featured the worst offense in all of football. Ex-Jets head coach Rex Ryan called if “maybe the worst” loss in franchise history.

The game started the part as New York’s defense allowed Buffalo to march down the field in just two plays to take a 7-0 lead — it was a sign of things to come. While the offense around veteran backup quarterback Josh McCown (17/34, 135 yds, 2 INTs) was unable to get anything going, the defense struggled to contain a Bills offense that started its fourth different passer of the year. The results were catastrophic.

How catastrophic? When the Jets registered their first first down of the game, they were already down 24-0. Offensively, it was nothing but punts while the defense was carved up by the Bills. And things did not get much better even after New York finally had a drive that did not go three-and-out: the series in the late second half ended with an interception thrown by McCown that was later turned into another Buffalo touchdown.

The Jets avoided the shutout at the half by scoring on a 55-yard field goal as time expired, but it did little to turn momentum in Gang Green’s favor. Neither did a five-yard touchdown run by Isaiah Crowell (7/19 yds, 1 TD) early in the third period. The Bills were content with controlling the game while New York continued to look lost on offense and defense, and even the usually sound special teams unit made mistakes.

In the end — after McCown had thrown his second pick of the day —, Todd Bowles’ team simply had no answer for a Buffalo squad that executed well. Meanwhile, the Jets were unable to get anything going and now head into their bye and the subsequent game against the Patriots with plenty of questions.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.