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AFC East Report: Bills lose heartbreaker in Arizona but stay atop the division

Related: Patriots vs Ravens recap: New England celebrates hard-fought 23-17 win

Buffalo Bills v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 10th 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 losing on a Hail Mary, to the Miami Dolphins winning their fifth straight game, to the New York Jets finally ending a weekend without a loss.

Let’s dive straight in.

1. Buffalo Bills (7-3)

Week 10: 32-30 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale AZ

The Bills sit atop the AFC East, but they did lose their third game of the season against the Cardinals. Not only did, but they did so in heartbreaking fashion: despite taking a four-point lead with only 34 seconds remaining on the clock, they were beaten when Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray connected with wideout DeAndre Hopkins on a 43-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to win the game with a final score of 32-30.

Let’s start at the beginning, though. The Bills opened their game in Arizona on defense, and immediately gave up the game’s first score by allowing the home team to drive 75 yards in 12 plays before kicking a 23-yard field goal. The team’s offense, however, answered with a touchdown: following a 40-yard kickoff return by Andre Roberts, Josh Allen led his troops on a 7-play, 63-yard rally that was capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Isaiah McKenzie to his quarterback.

In the second quarter, the game turned into a field goal bonanza. The Bills’ Tyler Bass made three of them from 54, 55 and 58 yards out — the third kick coming as time expired. In between, the Cardinals scored two field goals of their own. The two teams, whose defenses forced only one punt in the first half, therefore headed into the locker rooms with Buffalo up 16-9.

The visitors’ lead only grew in the third quarter. While the Bills had to punt on their opening possession, they got the ball back one play later when practice squad elevatee Dane Jackson recovered a fumble that was forced by fellow cornerback Taron Johnson. Three plays after the takeway, Allen connected with Cole Beasley on a 22-yard touchdown pass. Down two touchdowns, however, Arizona started to show some life.

The team drove 75 yards in nine plays after Beasley’s score, adding a touchdown of its own. After a Buffalo three-and-out, a Cardinals field goal cut the Bills’ lead to just four points — a lead that would only last three more minutes and turn into a deficit before the third quarter was over: an interception thrown by Josh Allen allowed Arizona to drive 56 yards for another touchdown and a 26-23 lead.

The fourth quarter saw more turnovers. The first was a Jordan Poyer interception, that did end a potential Cardinals scoring opportunity but was not converted into points by Buffalo’s offense. Josh Allen’s second pick, meanwhile, also did not turn into points. And so, with 3:35 remaining, the Bills embarked on an impressive drive that ended with a perfectly thrown 22-yard touchdown pass from Allen to Stefon Diggs to put the team up 30-26 with 34 ticks left on the clock. As we know now, that was still too much time.

Three straight pass attempts that gained only 32 combined yards set the Cardinals up for one final shot. Buffalo did not defend it badly per se — Kyler Murray was flushed out of the pocket and the team had plenty of players in the end zone — but sometimes greatness just prevails.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

2. Miami Dolphins (6-3)

Week 10: 29-21 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, in Miami Gardens FL

Three games as the Dolphins’ starting quarterback, three wins for Tua Tagovailoa. The first-round rookie, who took over for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick during the team’s Week 7 bye, played another impressive game against the visiting Chargers to lead his team to a fifth straight victory — and within striking distance of the division lead.

Miami started the game by playing some impressive complementary football. After a quick three-and-out forced by the defense, Andrew Van Ginkel blocked Los Angeles’ punt attempt and Jamal Perry recovered the football at the 1-yard line. On the very next play, Salvon Ahmed scored the game’s first touchdown to put the Dolphins up 7-0.

Following another punt forced by Miami, the team’s offense added seven more points: Tagovailoa led the unit on a 13-play, 88-yard series that ended with a touchdown pass to Jakeem Grant from three yards out. The Dolphins were in total control of the game at that point in time, with all three units playing some impressive football. However, they were still not immune to mistakes as the team’s third possession shows.

While Miami drove all the way to the Chargers’ 9-yard line, a botched exchange between center Ted Karras and Tagovailoa turned the football over to the defense and set up Los Angeles’ first scoring drive of the day — an 11-yard series that covered 37 yards and ended with a touchdown. The Dolphins were able to increase their lead again before the half, however, with kicker Jason Sanders kicking a 50-yard field goal just before intermission.

The third quarter started with a three-and-out by the Dolphins offense, and with L.A. subsequently driving 68 yards for its second touchdown. Another Sanders field goal — this one from 35 yards out — put the distance between the two clubs at six points again heading into the fourth quarter. Just two plays into the final period, Miami regained control of the game.

Following an interception and 28-yard return by Xavien Howard, Tagovailoa and company drove 32 yards for another score — a 2-yard pass to tight end Durham Smythe. Down 12 points, the Chargers were unable to cut into their deficit. They went three-and-out on the next series and, after a missed 47-yard field goal attempt by Sanders, were stopped on fourth down. The Dolphins went on to add another field goal before a Los Angeles touchdown leading into the two-minute warning.

Down eight points, the visitors had to recover an onside kick to have any chance at a comeback. They didn’t, and Miami improved to 6-3.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. New England Patriots (4-5)

Week 10: 23-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens, in Foxborough MA

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To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. New York Jets (0-9)

Week 10: Bye

Week 11: at Los Angeles Chargers (2-7)

Week 12: vs Miami Dolphins (6-3)

Week 13: vs Las Vegas Raiders (6-3)

Week 14: at Seattle Seahawks (6-3)

Week 15: at Los Angeles Rams (6-3)

Week 16: vs Cleveland Browns (6-3)

Week 17: at New England Patriots (4-5)

The Jets entered their bye week with an 0-9 record, and it is hard to see where they will any game over the second half of their season. Not only are they going against five teams that are currently 6-3, they also will finish the season in New England against a Patriots team that might very well still be fighting for its playoff life in Week 17. Their best chance at a victory actually comes this week versus the 2-7 Chargers.