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AFC East Report: A Christmas miracle, the Jets have won a game!

Related: Patriots vs Dolphins recap: New England falls flat in Miami, loses 22-12

New York Jets v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

The 15th week of NFL regular season action is in the books, which means that it is now also time for a new edition of the AFC East Report and for a look back at what happened in the New England Patriots’ division over the weekend — from the Buffalo Bills winning their first AFC East title in a quarter century, to the Miami Dolphins running all over the Patriots, to the New York Jets winning their first game of the season.

Let’s dive straight in.

1. Buffalo Bills (11-3)

Week 15: 48-19 win over the Denver Broncos, in Denver CO

For the first time since the 1995 season, the AFC East title goes to the Buffalo Bills — and they earned it in spectacular fashion: the team of head coach Sean McDermott went on the road to take on the Broncos, and came back with a dominant victory that further established the Bills as a team to watch with the playoffs on deck.

The game in Denver started with the home team in possession of the football and methodically driving down the field. However, the series ended with a 51-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide to the right. Buffalo’s offense, had more success: the unit marched 59 yards in 13 plays to go up 7-0 on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Josh Allen to Dawson Knox.

Denver again reached midfield on its next possession, but once again the Bills defense eventually forced a punt to set up a touchdown drive — an impressive series that covered 95 yards in 11 plays and was capped by a 24-yard Josh Allen scramble for a score. Buffalo had a chance at increasing its lead following a defensive three-and-out, but Andre Roberts muffed the ensuing punt to give the ball right back to the Broncos.

The team took advantage of the miscue to score its first touchdown of the day, but the Bills increased their lead again two possessions leader: Josh Allen connected with former Patriot Jake Kumerow for a 22-yard touchdown just inside the two-minute warning to put the team up 21-7. With only 1:49 left on the cock, however, Denver embarked on another scoring drive to turn the contest into an eight-point game again after a missed extra point.

Coming out of the half, Buffalo finally and definitively started to pull away. First, Allen scrambled into the end zone for a second time. Then, on the very next play from scrimmage, Tre’Davious White registered a sack and fumble, with Jerry Hughes recovering the football and returning it 21 yards for a defensive touchdown. In just 24 seconds of game time, the score went from 21-13 to 35-13.

The two teams then went on to exchange punts for the rest of the third quarter before kicker Tyler Bass added three more points to Buffalo’s total. He did the same midway through the fourth period, capping an 86-yard drive that took almost eight minutes off the clock. At that point, the game was very much decided. Denver’s final touchdown (again followed by a missed extra point) did nothing to change the outcome of the contest.

The exclamation point followed one play later: after Micah Hyde recovered a Broncos onside kick, Devin Singletary broke free for a 51-yard rushing touchdown to finalize the score. It was an impressive end to an impressive game in the middle of an impressive season — one that ended with a much-deserved division title.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

2. Miami Dolphins (9-5)

Week 15: 22-12 win over the New England Patriots, in Miami Gardens FL

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To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. New England Patriots (6-8)

Week 15: 22-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins, in Miami Gardens FL

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To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. New York Jets (1-13)

Week 15: 23-20 win over the Los Angeles Rams, in Inglewood CA

Entering Week 15 at 0-13, the Jets running the table to finish winless and secure the number one overall draft pick seemed like a formality. They did compete well in some of their recent games — especially the last-second loss against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 13 — but at the end of the day were did simply not appear to be good enough, or willing, to win a game and potentially drop down the draft board.

Then came Week 15 and a road game against the 9-4 Rams.

After forcing a three-and-out to open the game, the Jets’ much-maligned offense quickly went to work. Sam Darnold and company marched 74 yards in 13 plays, with the former first-round quarterback and running back Ty Johnson ending the series with an 18-yard touchdown connection. The Jets took their lead into the second quarter, when they made another big play.

On 4th-and-19, short-time Patriot J.T. Hassell blocked a Rams punt to set the team up at the L.A. 27-yard line. Four plays later, Sam Ficken split the uprights on a 39-yard field goal attempt to put New York up by 10 points. One possession later — set up by a Bryce Hall interception and 20-yard return — Ficken added three more points to the total thanks to a 25-yard kick.

While the Rams did make a 45-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter, the team still went into the locker room down 13-3 despite having entered the game as 17-point favorites. And the third quarter did not start any better for them.

New York received the opening kickoff of the second half, and again produced a long drive afterwards. The Jets went 72 yards in 11 plays, with the final one being conquered by Frank Gore: the veteran running back broke the plane from one yard out to convert a 4th-and-goal and give his team a 20-3 lead.

At that point, however, the Rams started to fight back. The team covered 75 yards in just five plays to come within 10 points. And while the Jets added another field goal on their next drive to pull ahead 23-10, another Los Angeles touchdown in the early fourth quarter decreased New York’s lead to only six points. One series later, it was down to three.

With under seven minutes remaining, the Jets needed to drain some clock and possibly put more points on the board. Instead, however, they went three-and-out and subsequently surrendered a 34-yard punt return. Despite starting the series in its own territory, however, the New York defense held: it forced an incomplete pass on 4th-and-4, to gain possession on downs with under four minutes to go until the first win of the season.

This time, the Jets offense did deliver: with Gore touching the football on the next five plays, New York gained enough first downs to kneel out the clock and improve to 1-13. That victory did come at a cost, though, as Adam Gase’s team is no longer in the driver’s seat for the number one overall selection in next year’s draft. The 1-13 Jacksonville Jaguars are in that spot now.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.