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AFC East Report: Bills improve to 7-2 with impressive victory over the Seahawks

Related: Patriots vs Jets recap: New England escapes with last-second 30-27 win

Seattle Seahawks v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The ninth week of NFL regular season action is in the books, which means that it is now also time for the new edition of this year’s AFC East Report and for a look back at what happened in the New England Patriots’ division over the weekend — from the Buffalo Bills playing an impressive game, to the Miami Dolphins matching their 2019 win total, to the New York Jets remaining winless.

Let’s dive straight in.

1. Buffalo Bills (7-2)

Week 9: 44-34 win over the Seattle Seahawks, in Orchard Park NY

One week after a hard-fought victory over the Patriots, the Bills played arguably their best game of the season against one of the NFC’s premier teams. Head coach Sean McDermott’s squad welcomed the 6-1 Seahawks to Orchard Park, and played some impressive complementary football along the way. Buffalo therefore continues to sit comfortably in the driver’s seat for its first AFC East title since the 1995 season.

The game against Seattle started with a bang for the home team, as Andre Roberts returned the opening kickoff 60 yards to the Seahawks’ side of the field. Just three plays later, Josh Allen connected with Isaiah McKenzie on a 25-yard touchdown pass. The team added to its lead following a defensive three-and-out: Buffalo drove 72 yards in 10 plays, with Allen and tight end Tyler Kroft putting the team up 14-10 with 7:40 left in the first period.

At that point, Seattle started to show some signs of life: the team drove deep into the Bills’ red zone but saw its drive cut short when Jordan Poyer intercepted quarterback Russell Wilson in the end zone on a 4th-and-1 attempt. The takeaway set up another scoring drive, with Tyler Bass’ 44-yard field goal putting Buffalo up 17-0 early in the second quarter.

While the Seahawks were able to answer with a touchdown, the Bills regained momentum quickly. Allen led his men on a five-yard drive that covered 75 yards and ended with his third touchdown pass of the day: the third-year QB hooked up with rookie Gabriel Davis from four yards out to increase Buffalo’s lead to 17 points — one that was cut to 14 before the half thanks to a Seattle field goal.

Buffalo tried to add three more points via a 61-yard kick as time expired in Quarter Two, but Bass missed it wide to the right. Still, the Bills headed into the locker rooms comfortably up 24-10.

After intermission, Buffalo’s defense made another big play when Jerry Hughes sacked Wilson to force a fumble that was recovered by Tre’Davious White. Just like the first takeaway, this one also led to three points with Bass being good from 22 yards out. Seattle started to fight its way back into the contest, however, and answered with a touchdown to make it a 10-point game again.

Following a Bills three-and-out that saw Allen get sacked twice — all in all, he was taken down seven times on the afternoon — the Seahawks added three more points to their tally to make it a one-possession game. Despite pressure mounting, Buffalo’s offense delivered another impressive scoring drive: the unit marched 82 yards in nine plays, with the final one being a 1-yard touchdown run by first-year back Zack Moss.

The Bills’ defense came up big once again on its next drive: after back-to-back sacks to open the series, White picked off Wilson and returned the interception to the 3-yard line. On the very next play, Allen found his way into the end zone to put his club up 41-20.

Despite the three-touchdown deficit, the Seahawks were not dead just yet. They scored a touchdown of their own just 48 seconds after Allen’s, and forced a quick three-and-out to get the ball back down 14 with 7:08 left. However, another fumble — A.J. Klein sacked Wilson and recovered the ball — effectively sealed the deal for the home team. Bass added another field goal and Seattle scored one more touchdown, but the Bills ran out the clock following an onside kick recovery.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

2. Miami Dolphins (5-3)

Week 9: 34-31 win over the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale AZ

Last season, the Dolphins were 1-7 eight games into their season. This year — the second under head coach Brian Flores — Miami is sitting at 5-3 while being in serious contention for a wild-card playoff berth. That fifth victory, tying 2019’s win total, came in the form of an impressive road win against a Cardinals team that was 5-2 entering the contest and coming off its bye week. Nevertheless, Flores’ team prevailed.

Following a three-and-out, the first big play of the day was made by Miami’s defense: Emmanuel Ogbah sacked Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray and forced a fumble in the process; the loose ball was picked up by Shaq Lawson and returned 36 yards for a touchdown. That lead did not last long, however, as the home team tied the contest on its next possession.

Miami replied to Arizona’s touchdown by driving 75 yards in 10 plays, and scoring a second time when Jordan Howard broke the plane from two yards out. Once again, however, the Cardinals replied with a touchdown — a 56-yard pass on 3rd-and-7 beat the Miami’s defense. At that point, the game had turned into a shootout.

Immediately following Arizona’s second score, after all, Tua Tagovailoa led his team to its third touchdown of the afternoon — a drive that was capped when the rookie QB connected with Preston Williams for a 9-yard scoring pass. This time, the Dolphins were able to hold onto their lead: the defense held the Cardinals to a field goal on the next drive, and the offense was eventually able to increase its lead to seven points thanks to a 56-yard Jason Sanders field goal as time expired in the second quarter.

Coming out of the half on defense, Miami surrendered back-to-back touchdowns that allowed Arizona to turn a 24-17 deficit into a 31-24 lead. Tagovailoa and company, however, tied the game early in the fourth quarter thanks to an 11-yard touchdown pass to Mack Hollins. Momentum continued to shift back to the Cardinals, but Miami’s defense came up with a stop on 4th-and-1 on the next drive.

Five plays after the turnover on downs, Sanders kicked a 50-yard field goal to give Miami a 34-31 lead. With 3:30 remaining the game, however, Arizona had plenty of time remaining to drive for a game-winning touchdown or at least a field goal. While the team did march into scoring range, a 49-yard field goal attempt by kicker Zane Gonzalez came up short inside the two-minute mark. All that was left for the Dolphins to do was run out the clock — they did and are therefore now sitting at 5-3.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. New England Patriots (3-5)

Week 9: 30-27 win over the New York Jets, in East Rutherford NJ

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To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. New York Jets (0-9)

Week 9: 30-27 loss against the New England Patriots, in East Rutherford NJ

Final Score: Patriots 30, Jets 27

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To watch highlights of the game, click here.