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AFC East Report: Bills bounce back nicely after losing to Patriots; Jets get blown out after their bye

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Let’s take a look at what happened in the division this week.

NFL: OCT 06 Bills at Titans Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Five weeks into the NFL’s 2019 regular season, the AFC East remains a two-class society: the top two teams are a combined 9-1 at this point in the season, with the bottom two still winless at 0-4 each. Before getting ahead of ourselves, however, let’s find out what happened over the weekend in the latest edition of the AFC East Report.

1. New England Patriots (5-0)

Week 5: 33-17 win against the Washington Redskins, in Landover MD

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To watch highlights of the game, click here.

2. Buffalo Bills (4-1)

Week 5: 14-7 win against the Tennessee Titans, in Nashville TN

The Buffalo Bills bounced back nicely after a home loss against New England in Week 4: the team went on the road to defeat the Tennessee Titans 14-7, remaining well-positioned in the race for a playoff spot. To make things even better for the team, it also saw the return of quarterback Josh Allen who had left last Sunday’s matchup with the Patriots due to a concussion suffered in the fourth quarter.

Despite Allen being back in the fold, the game started as a defensive battle. Neither team got going early on, with the first three series all ending with punts. It took until late in the first period for Buffalo to finally break the stalemate a bit: the team was able to produce an impressive drive — including a 4th and 2 conversion — but ultimately saw it come to an end on its 11th play when the quarterback was stopped short of the sticks on another fourth down attempt.

Tennessee was unable to take advantage, however, despite quickly driving into scoring range after the turnover on down: kicker Cairo Santos hooked a 50-yard field goal to the left, leaving the score tied at zero early in the second period. The unsuccessful field goal attempt was the closest either team came to scoring until a Buffalo drive that started with five minutes left in the first half gave the team a 7-0 lead.

Driving 60 yards in six plays, Allen capped the series with an 8-yard pass to tight end Lee Lee Smith. Tennessee was actually able to respond well by moving down the field itself, but another missed kick by Santos — this one from 36 yards out — left the Bills up by a touchdown heading into the locker rooms. Coming out of intermission, the game remained a defensively dominated affair that saw its first big play came on Buffalo’s second possession.

On a 3rd and 5, Allen threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted by Tennessee safety Kevin Byard. To make matters worse, the Bills had to watch the home team drive 38 yards in seven plays to tie the game at seven. On their next series, the Titans came close to taking the lead but had two touchdowns overturned because of penalties before Santos missed another kick: a 33-yard attempt was blocked by Buffalo’s Darryl Johnson.

The missed kick set up what later turned out to be the game-winning drive. The Bills marched 77 yards in just six plays — including a 46-yard pass to Isaiah McKenzie — to go up 14-7 on a touchdown throw from Allen to Duke Williams with under 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. The rest of the game was business as usual for both teams: neither club could produce much on offense, while Santos missed yet another field goal attempt. Buffalo ultimately was able to run out the clock to secure its fourth win of the season.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. New York Jets (0-4)

Week 5: 31-6 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, in Philadelphia PA

Coming out of their Week 3 bye, the New York Jets continued to look like one of the worst teams in all of football against the Philadelphia Eagles. Still without starting quarterback Sam Darnold, who is dealing with mononucleosis but has since been cleared to play, the club’s offense was again outmatched from start to finish while the defense did not offer much resistance either. All in all, it was another terrible day for Gang Green.

The club started by going three-and-out, allowing a 16-yard punt return, and surrendering a nine-play, 53-yard touchdown drive that saw three third down conversions. Things did not get much better after those two drives: the very next series saw the Jets offense move the football comparatively well, only for quarterback Luke Falk to throw an interception that was returned 51 yards for the Eagles’ second touchdown in the first 10 minutes.

At that point, the Jets started to settle down a bit. While going three-and-out on their next drive after the pick six, the defense actually forced a punt before Falk led the offense into scoring territory. However, kicker Sam Ficken missed a 55-yard attempt wide to the right — it was the closest the team would ever come again in the game. The teams continued to exchange punts for most of the second period before another Jets giveaway.

Just outside of the two-minute warning, Falk threw his second interception of the day. While it was not returned for a touchdown, it did set Philadelphia up in prime field position and allowed the home team to add to its lead: seven plays and 42 yards after the pick, the Eagles were up 21-0. At that point, the game was effectively out of reach for Adam Gase’s squad, with the offense inspiring little confidence that a comeback would be possible.

Indeed, the unit opened the second half with a punt, which allowed the home team to add a field goal to its total. It took until the early fourth period for New York to finally get on the scoreboard itself — and the team needed a little help from the Eagles to do it: returnman Corey Clement was unable to hold onto a punt which set the Jets up at the Philadelphia 19-yard line. On the very next play, Vyncint Smith scored on an end around run.

It was the best offensive play of the day for New York, which missed the two-point attempt after the touchdown and gifted the Eagles another touchdown on its next possession: Falk was sacked, lost the football, and had to watch Orlando Scandrick return it 44 yards for a touchdown — it was one of 10 sacks the Jets surrendered and the perfect way to end what was another disastrous Sunday for the club.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. Miami Dolphins (0-4)

Week 5: Bye

Week 6: vs Washington Redskins

Week 7: at Buffalo Bills

Week 8: at Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 9: vs New York Jets

After losing their first four games of the season by a combined score of 26-163 — aka. the fewest points scored in the league and the most given up — the Dolphins were able to enjoy a much-needed bye this weekend. Coming out of it, the team will go up against a Washington team that was just blown out by the Patriots, fired its head coach afterwards, and is also 0-4. If there ever is a chance to get a win, this is it.