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AFC East Report: Jets embarrass themselves in Week 13

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

New York Jets v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The AFC East remains one of the most exciting divisions in football. The two teams at the top are well-positioned to earn themselves a spot in the playoffs, while the bottom two are fighting for little more than draft positioning but are still good for the occasional surprise — good or bad. Before getting too far ahead of ourselves, however, let’s instead find out what happened this weekend in the latest edition of the AFC East Report.

1. New England Patriots (10-2)

Week 13: 28-22 loss against the Houston Texans, in Houston TX

Patriots vs Texans recap: New England loses 28-22, drops from top playoff seed in the AFC

Instant analysis from Patriots’ 28-22 loss to Texans

Patriots vs Texans: Watch the Pats Pulpit Postgame Show live!

The Lane Breakdown: Ignore the score, the Patriots got blown out in Houston

4 winners and 8 losers from the Patriots’ 28-22 loss to the Texans

Patriots vs Texans snap counts: New England was not at full strength against Houston

Patriots need to follow the 2018 blueprint and reassess what their offensive identity is

The Scho Show Episode #46: A Week 13 Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness installment

Patriots vs. Texans: Fan Notes from the Game

Tom Brady insists he is ‘gaining confidence’ with the Patriots’ receivers every week

Bill Belichick thinks second down was a problem for the Patriots defense in Houston

Patriots vs Texans advanced stats: New England’s pass defense shows some weaknesses

Film room: Patriots’ offensive struggles have little to do with trust or talent

Coping With Loss: Houston Texans Edition

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

2. Buffalo Bills (9-3)

Week 13: 26-15 win against the Dallas Cowboys, in Dallas TX

The Buffalo Bills continue to keep pace with the Patriots and actually came one game closer over Thanksgiving weekend: with the team winning against the Dallas Cowboys and New England losing its game in Houston three days later, the Bills are now only one game behind their rival in the standings. In order to get achieve this, Buffalo went on the road on Thanksgiving day to defeat the NFC East-leading Cowboys with a final score of 26-15.

The game started badly for the visitors, who had to surrender a 75-yard touchdown drive to open the game before replying with a punt. Luckily for Sean McDermott’s team, the defense settled down afterwards and allowed the Bills to tie the game midway through the second period: after Dallas’ second straight punt, Buffalo’s offense went on an eight-play series that covered 85 yards and ended with a touchdown pass from Josh Allen to ex-Cowboy Cole Beasley from 25 yards away.

Just five plays later, the Bills made another big play when defensive tackle Star Lotulelei intercepted Dak Prescott to give his team the ball at the Dallas 29-yard line. Unfortunately for Buffalo, the offense was unable to take advantage of its field position and ultimately had to settle for a 50-yard Stephen Hauschka field goal — one that sailed wide to the right and left the game tied at seven. It would take until the next drive for Buffalo to take its first lead of the day.

Following another turnover — this one a fumble forced by Ed Oliver and recovered by Trent Murphy — the Bills set up shop at the Cowboys’ 39-yard line and nearly saw the drive come to an end just four plays later: Buffalo went for a 4th and 1, and fumbled the snap but Allen was able to pick it up and gain the first down. One play later, the team was in the end zone thanks to a 28-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver pass from John Brown to running back Devin Singletary. With the extra point sailing wide right, the Bills were up 13-7.

The lead even stayed intact after a 35-yard Cowboys field goal attempt at the end of the first half: Lotulelei was able to block the kick as time expired in the second quarter. The Bills therefore entered the locker rooms up by a touchdown — a lead that would increase to 10 points on the opening drive of the third period thanks to a 41-yard field goal by Hauschka. Dallas, meanwhile, continued to struggle and saw Brett Maher miss a 47-yard try.

After the missed field goal, Buffalo was able to add even more points to its lead: the team drove 63 yards in seven plays, with a 15-yard touchdown run by Allen putting the team up 23-7. The Cowboys once again failed to respond, despite driving all the way down to the Bills’ 6-yard line. Facing a 4th and goal, however, Prescott threw an incomplete pass to give the ball back to the visitors on downs at the end of the third quarter.

Buffalo added another field goal — this one from 26 yards out — in the final period, whereas the Cowboys had another turnover on downs before scoring a touchdown and two-point try with four minutes left in the game. It was too little, too late: the Bills ran out the clock thanks in part to another successful fourth down conversion and were able to celebrate their third victory in a row.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. New York Jets (4-8)

Week 13: 22-6 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals, in Cincinnati OH

The New York Jets’ 2019 season has seen few ups and plenty of downs, but Sunday might very well have been rock bottom: coming off three straight victories and going on the road to face the 0-11 Cincinnati Bengals, Adam Gase’s team suffered its eighth defeat of the season — in rather convincing fashion considering that the Jets failed to score a touchdown and had to watch the home team score 22 points after it had averaged just 14 over its firs 11 games.

Much like the Titanic before it hit the iceberg, New York actually started off well. The team received the opening kickoff and went 51 yards in 13 plays to take a 3-0 lead on a 42-yard Sam Ficken field goal. And with the Bengals gaining just one first down on their first possession, the road was clear for the Jets to take control of the game. However, they did not do so and instead had to punt before watching Cincinnati take a 7-3 lead.

New York’s offense replied with another punt that was followed by more Bengals points; this time it was three. Sam Darnold and company, meanwhile, were unable to get going and also had to punt on their next drive which allowed the Bengals — you guessed it — to add more points to their lead: a 5-yard Joe Mixon touchdown run put the home team up 17-3 with just under two minutes to go in the first half.

This time, the Jets were finally able to answer: driving 69 yards in 11 plays, Sam Ficken kicked his second field goal of the day to bring his team within 11 points at the half. And the momentum continued to shift towards Gang Green on the first series of the second half as Cincinnati missed a 48-yard field goal try. This gave the Jets a chance to get themselves back into the game. Unsurprisingly, however, they did not capitalize — quite the opposite.

After the two teams exchanged punts, the Jets started at their own 2-yard line and three plays later saw offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum get flagged for holding. In the end zone. For a safety. To make matters worse, the Bengals added three more points on the drive after the ensuing free kick to go up 22-6 in the third quarter. With their backs against the wall, the Jets’ next four series went punt, punt, turnover on downs, turnover on downs.

The Bengals, meanwhile, did not do much more damage — both to themselves and the Jets — after the third quarter but it was enough to celebrate their first win of the season.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. Miami Dolphins (3-9)

Week 13: 37-31 win against the Philadelphia Eagles, in Miami Gardens FL

After the Cowboys’ loss on Thanksgiving, the Philadelphia Eagles entered Week 13 with a chance to get themselves back into the race for the NFC East title against the Miami Dolphins. But despite being a two-win team, the team of first-year head coach Brian Flores put up a fight and eventually was able to defeat the Eagles with a final score of 37-31 — despite starting the game in the worst possible fashion.

On the very first play from scrimmage, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an interception that set the Eagles up at the Miami 18-yard line. Just three plays later, the visitors were up 7-0 — a lead that increased to 10-0 on their next possession. The Dolphins, meanwhile, struggled offensively to open the game and did not get into a rhythm until their fourth drive. At that point, however, they marched 84 yards in six plays with DeVante Parker catching a 43-yard touchdown pass to cap the series.

While Philadelphia replied with a field goal, Miami’s offense was getting hot and eventually able to take its first lead of the day on one of the best plays of the season. After driving 74 yards in 12 plays, the team sent its field goal unit onto the field on a 4th and 1 from the Eagles’ 1-yard line. However, the ball was never kicked and instead snapped to punter/holder Matt Haack, who scrambled to the right before flipping the football into the end zone to kicker James Sanders for a touchdown.

As spectacular as the play was, the Dolphins’ lead did not last long as the Eagles replied with a 75-yard touchdown drive of their own to take a 21-14 lead into the half. Coming out of intermission, Miami continued its aggressive play by attempting a surprise onside kick but the plan backfired and gave Philadelphia the ball in good field position. The 2017 champions were able to take advantage and increased their lead to 28-14 after scoring another touchdown.

Miami fought back, however, and had another long touchdown to answer the Eagles’ series: facing only one second down along the way, the Dolphins cut their deficit to eight after a 17-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to Parker. Philadelphia came close to taking a double-digit lead again, but a 49-yard field goal attempt by Jake Elliott sailed wide to the left. In turn, the home team added another touchdown pass: this time, Fitzpatrick connected with tight end Mike Gesicki from 14 yards out.

Due to an unsuccessful two-point try, however, the Dolphins entered the fourth quarter still down by two points. The team did eventually re-take the lead, though: with Fitzpatrick leading the offense, it drove 96 yards in nine plays — the final four of which a touchdown run by rookie Patrick Laird. And with Laird also catching the ensuing two-point try, Miami was suddenly up six points with 11 minutes left in the game.

Following another Eagles punt, the Dolphins were able to pull away for good: the team took almost six minutes off the clock on its next drive and added three more points thanks to a 51-yard field goal by Sanders. With under four minutes left, the Eagles could not do much more than add a field goal and watch a final Hail Mary attempt get intercepted by Miami cornerback Chris Lammons.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.