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AFC East Report week 17: Bills send Kyle Williams off in style; Dolphins and Jets are falling apart

Notes from around the division.

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The 2018 NFL season is over — at least for three of the AFC East’s four teams: for the first time since 2015, the division failed to qualify more than one team for the postseason. Simultaneously, 2018 marks the first time since 2012 that only one club was able to finish with a winning record:

1. New England Patriots (11-5)

Week 17: 38-3 win against the New York Jets, in Foxboro MA

Patriots vs Jets final score: Tom Brady has 4 touchdown passes as New England romps 38-3

Watch the Pats Pulpit Postgame Show from New England’s 38-3 win live!

6 instant observations from the Patriots 38-3 win over the Jets

Quick-hit thoughts on the Patriots’ 38-3 win against the Jets: New England isn’t dead yet!

10 winners and 0 losers from New England’s 38-3 win in the regular season finale

Patriots end wild 2018 on a high note; blow out the Jets to secure a first-round playoff bye

Pats Pulpit Podcast Episode 134: Patriots clinch a first round bye!

Patriots vs. Jets: Fan Notes from the Game

Patriots vs Jets snap count report: Phillip Dorsett emerges as the third wide receiver

Bill Belichick to Patriots in postgame locker room: “Winning today means we won next week”

Pats Blitz Podcast #7: Don’t sleep on the Patriots’ defense!

Obi Melifonwu among 7 practice players of the week from the Patriots’ 38-3 win over the Jets

Best and worst plays from New England’s 38-3 win over New York

Patriots vs Jets advanced stats: New England’s pass rush was relentless against Sam Darnold

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

2. Miami Dolphins (7-9)

Week 17: 42-17 loss against the Buffalo Bills, in Orchard Park NY

The Miami Dolphins started the year 3-0 and with serious playoff aspirations. They stumbled through the middle portion of the season but gained new momentum after their “Miami Miracle” win against the Patriots. However, it was not enough: the team ended its 2018 campaign with a 7-9 record and a blowout loss against the Buffalo Bills that saw it play uninspiring football in all three phases. One day later, head coach Adam Gase was fired.

Gase’s final game on the Dolphins’ sideline started in the worst possible way. His team’s defense surrendered a 66-yard touchdown drive to open the contest before quarterback Ryan Tannehill (18/31, 147 yds, 2 INTs, 1 FL) threw an interception on his first pass attempt of the contest. One play later, the Dolphins were down 14-0 — and they were not done shooting themselves in the foot: Tannehill threw another pick to end Miami’s second possession.

Luckily for the Dolphins, the Bills failed to capitalize by missing a field goal which in turn allowed the visitors to get back into the game: after the teams exchanged punts for most of the second quarter, a touchdown pass from wide receiver Kenny Stills (1/1, 3 yds, 1 TD; 3/27 yds) to Tannehill brought Miami within seven. Two plays after the score, the game was tied: Reshad Jones (3 TKLs, 1 INT) intercepted a pass and returned it 29 yards to the end zone.

After coming out of the locker rooms tied at 14, the Dolphins started to implode. After a quick three-and-out, their defense gave up a 10-play, 78-yard touchdown drive. Two plays later, Tannehill turned the football over on a sack. Three plays after that, two Dolphins defenders — Kiko Alonso (5 TKLs) and Robert Quinn — were ejected after an unnecessary roughness call against Alonso led to a skirmish. Two plays later, the Dolphins surrendered another touchdown.

And even though Miami added a field goal on its next drive to cut its deficit to 11, the meltdown continued: the Bills scored another touchdown early in the fourth quarter, after which running back Kalen Ballage (12/47, 1 FL) lost a fumble. Three plays later, Buffalo added another touchdown to bring the score to 42-17 — ending the inconsistent Adam Gase era in embarrassing fashion.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. Buffalo Bills (6-10)

Week 17: 42-17 win against the Miami Dolphins, in Orchard Park NY

Entering the regular season final in the standings’ no man’s land, the Buffalo Bills had little to play for against the Miami Dolphins — other than ending the career of veteran defensive tackle Kyle Williams in style: after 13 seasons with the club and five Pro Bowl nominations, the 35-year old decided to end his run. His last game in a Bills uniform, unlike most games in his tenure, ended with a decisive victory.

Buffalo started the game with the football and quickly marched 66 yards in nine plays to go up 7-0 on a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Josh Allen (17/26, 224 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT; 9/95 yds, 2 TDs). Three plays later, the team’s defense came up with a big play of its own when linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (12 TKLs, 1.0 SK, 1 INT) undercut a pass for an interception. On the very next play, Allen hit Zay Jones (6/93 yds, 2 TDs) who took the receptions into the end zone.

The Bills then were unable to take advantage of another takeaway — an interception by cornerback Tre’Davious White (2 TKLs, 1 INT) — as a 42-yard Stephen Hauschka (0/1; 6/6) field goal attempt fell short. Instead of Buffalo being up 17-0, Miami was allowed to get back into the game before halftime: the Bills defense first surrendered an 11-play, 51-yard touchdown drive, before Allen threw a pick-six to tie the game at 14.

While the first half ended on a low note, the second began with the Bills getting momentum back to their side. After the defense forced a three-and-out, the offense went on a 10-play, 78-yard series that was capped by Allen connecting with Robert Foster (4/21 yds, 1 TD) to put the home team on top again. Two plays after the touchdown, Buffalo’s defense registered its third turnover of the day which set up a nine-yard LeSean McCoy (10/26 yds, 1 TD) scoring run.

Even though Miami added a field goal late in the third quarter, the game was now firmly in the Bills’ control — and the scoreboard began to reflect it: Buffalo scored another touchdown early in the fourth period when Allen found the end zone on a 30-yard scramble. And following a Trent Murphy (1 FR) fumble recovery, a 26-yard touchdown throw from Allen to Jones sealed the deal.

To make matters even better for the club and the crowd, Kyle Williams (4 TKLs; 1/9 yds) was allowed the first and last reception of his career on a 9-yard pass later in his career’s final quarter. All in all, a good way for Buffalo to end an otherwise mediocre season.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. New York Jets (4-12)

Week 17: 38-3 loss against the New England Patriots, in Foxboro MA

Notes from Gang Green Nation:

Final Score: Patriots 38, Jets 3

Patriots 38 Jets 3: The End

Todd Bowles has been fired by the Jets

Gang Green Podcast #10: Recapping the Blowout in Foxboro

Two Jets podcast episodes: Catching up with Bowles, Maccagnan, Enunwa, and Week 17

2018 New York Jets Offensive Line Stats: Week 17

To watch highlights of the game, click here.