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AFC East Report: The 2019 Miami Dolphins have finally won a game

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

New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The AFC East entered the ninth week of the regular season with one undefeated team among its ranks and one that had yet to win a game. Within a few hours of each other on Sunday, they both fell from the ranks of the perfect albeit in different fashion. With that being said, let’s find out what happened in the latest edition of the AFC East Report.

1. New England Patriots (8-1)

Week 9: 37-20 loss against the Baltimore Ravens, in Baltimore MD

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To watch highlights of the game, click here.

2. Buffalo Bills (6-2)

Week 9: 24-9 win against the Washington Redskins, in Orchard Park NY

Coming off a blowout loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Buffalo Bills had to go up against another NFC East team on Sunday: the Washington Redskins visited New Era Field in hopes of duplicating the success the Eagles had in Western New York one week earlier. However, Buffalo bounced back in style from its second defeat of the season and left the visitors little chance right from the get-go before ultimately winning by 15 points.

Buffalo started the game on defense but after three plays and a punt was able to send its offense out onto the field for the first time. Josh Allen and company did like the defense and got going right away, quickly marching 54 yards in eight plays — the final of which a 6-yard touchdown pass from the second-year quarterback to offseason acquisition Cole Beasley that would give the home team a 7-0 lead that increased on the next possession.

After the Bills defense forced its second punt of the day, the offense had another long drive that spanned 66 yards and 12 plays. While it did not end with a touchdown — kicker Stephen Hauschka made a 42-yard field goal to put his team up 10-0 — it still made the game a two-possession contest near the end of the first quarter. And even though Washington cut its deficit to three points in the early second, the Bills kept rolling.

The very next play after the visitors’ first points of the day saw Andre Roberts return a kickoff 66 yards into the Redskins’ side of the field. 11 plays and six minutes of game time later, Buffalo was up 17-3: facing a 4th and goal from the 1-yard line, the Bills opted to go for it via a Josh Allen quarterback sneak. The former first-round draft pick awarded his coaches’ faith in him by breaking the plane and scoring his fourth rushing touchdown of the season.

Washington answered with another field goal, but the Bills still headed into the locker rooms at halftime up 17-6 and with momentum on their side. The second half, however, did not start as planned for the club: while it drove into field goal range yet again, Hauschka remained on the sidelines on another 4th and 1. The Bills did not pick it up this time, though, and had to see Frank Gore stuffed for no gain.

Even though the Redskins could not take advantage of the turnover on downs, they did capitalize on another Bills error shortly afterwards: after a shanked punt by Corey Bojorquez that traveled only 15 yards, the team started its next possession at the Buffalo 35-yard line. The home team did force a stop, but Washington’s third field goal of the day still turned the previously lopsided contest into a one-possession game again.

Another Bills punt later — this one traveled 46 yards — the 1-7 Redskins were in a position to potentially tie the game. Buffalo’s defense came up with another stop, however, and held it ground on the next possession as well. This set up the game-clinching score for head coach Sean McDermott’s squad: Devin Singletary scored a two-yard touchdown run to give the Bills a 24-9 lead late in the fourth quarter, effectively ending any hopes of a Washington comeback.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. Miami Dolphins (1-7)

Week 9: 26-18 win against the New York Jets, in Miami Gardens FL

After losing their first four games by an average of 34 points, the Miami Dolphins looked better over the second quarter of the season: they came close to beating Washington in Week 6, and were competitive during the next two games as well. And now, in the eight game under head coach Brian Flores, the Dolphins finally won their first game of the season — and their first since last year’s so-called “Miami Miracle” against the Patriots.

Things did not look that way early on, however, as the Dolphins defense allowed the visiting Jets to go on a 75-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead. Following a three-and-out by the offense to answer the touchdown, New York came close to scoring again but missed a field goal attempt to keep Flores’ team within one score. Miami was able to take advantage of the visitors’ miscue and on the very next series tied the game at seven.

Miami drove 61 yards in seven plays to score its first touchdown of the day on a 12-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to rookie receiver Preston Williams. The Dolphins’ defense then forced its first stop of the game on the ensuing drive, to set up another score for the previously winless team: Fitzpatrick and company embarked on an 84-yard journey that was capped by his second touchdown pass of the day; this time to DeVante Parker.

And the Dolphins were not done just yet: after a defensive three-and-out, they drove right down the field again to score the third touchdown of the first half when Fitzpatrick hooked up with Williams again. Up 21-3, however, Miami’s special teams units allowed the Jets to return the ensuing kickoff 78 yards while putting the defense in a difficult situation — one it did get itself out of when ex-Patriot Jomal Wiltz registered an interception at the 1-yard line.

The turnover did not stop the Jets from scoring, though, as Fitzpatrick was tackled in the end zone on the next play resulting in a safety. And after the free kick and a 25-yard runback, New York was able to add a field goal to its total right before the half. Coming out of the locker room up 21-12, the Dolphins were again in a position to increase their lead only to see Jason Sanders miss a 49-yard attempt wide right.

The unsuccessful field goal try allowed the Jets to come within six points of the Dolphins on their next possession, but Sanders’ next attempt made it a two-score game again as he was good from 26 yards out late in the third period. Miami’s defense then sealed the win: the unit forced two straight three-and-outs and afterwards recorded a safety on a bad snap that put the team up 28-15. New York did score another field goal, but it was too little too late.

The win may leave some bad tase in Miami’s mouth, however: the odds to get the number one overall draft pick next year have shifted in the 0-8 Cincinnati Bengals’ and the now-1-7 Jets’ favors.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. New York Jets (1-7)

Week 9: 26-18 loss against the Miami Dolphins, in Miami Gardens FL

Adam Gase served as the Dolphins’ head coach for three seasons before his firing earlier this year. Now with the New York Jets, he returned to his former stomping grounds on Sunday with a two-game losing streak in his bag. But despite going against an 0-7 team, Gase’s squad found a way to collapse behind bad a miserable offense that struggled against the NFL’s worst scoring team and a defense that did not fare any better.

Things did start well for the Jets, however: after receiving the opening kickoff, Sam Darnold — coming off back-to-back bad games — took the offense right down the field in 11 plays. A 12-yard pass to Jamison Crowder finally put the visitors up 7-0 and on course to get back to playing winning football. The tide turned quickly, though, despite the defense forcing a three-and-out on its next possession and Gang Green driving into scoring range again.

On a 4th and 12, Gase opted to bring kicker Sam Ficken onto the field to attempt a 49-yard kick. It sailed wide right, however, and set Miami up in good field position. Seven plays later, the game was tied — and the Jets started to fall apart. After the offense picked up just one first down on its next two drives, the defense had to watch Miami score touchdowns in two straight possessions and take a 21-7 lead.

To make matters worse, New York even failed to capitalize on a 78-yard kickoff return by Vyncint Smith right after Miami’s third score of the day. Facing a 2nd and goal from the 2-yard line, Darnold threw an ill-advised pass under pressure that was intercepted by the Dolphins. Luckily for the second-year quarterback and his team, the defense forced a safety on the next possession when it tackled Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the end zone.

Momentum continued to return towards the Jets after the ensuing free kick: Braxton Berrios returned it 25 yards to help New York drive for a field goal in the final seconds of the first half. Ficken’s 52-yarder was perfect and brought the club within nine points — even after the Dolphins missed a field goal on the opening drive of the second half. This, in turn, allowed the Jets’ kicker to cut even further into the deficit with a 40-yard kick on the next drive.

The Dolphins, however, scored another field goal one drive later and midway through the fourth period were able to register a safety on its own: center Jonatthon Harrison snapped the football before Darnold was ready, resulting in a safety for the home team. Down 11 points, the Jets were able to add another field goal but ultimately failed to recover the ensuing onside kick — losing another game and dropping to last place in the AFC East.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.