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AFC East Report: How the Patriots’ division rivals fared in Week 9

Related: NFL playoff picture: Patriots are one of the hottest teams in the league right now

Buffalo Bills v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The ninth 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 — one that saw the Patriots win their third game in a row, the Buffalo Bills suffer an upset loss, the Miami Dolphins win their second game of the year, and the New York Jets crash back down to earth.

Let’s dive straight in.

1. Buffalo Bills (5-3)

Week 9: 9-6 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville FL

One week after struggling to find their rhythm offensively against the Dolphins, the Bills had another bad outing on this side of the ball against the Jaguars. The result was a six-point performance and one of the biggest upsets of the season: Jacksonville was able to defeat the two-touchdown favorites with a final score of 9-6.

The game started with the Jaguars and first overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence marching 54 yards in 12 plays to take a 3-0 lead on a Matthew Wright field goal. The Bills responded by driving for a field goal themselves — a 24-yarder by Tyler Bass to cap a 12-play series — to tie the contest.

Following a defensive three-and-out, Buffalo actually took the lead. Bass split the uprights from 41 yards away to end yet another 12-play drive. The Jaguars, however, were able to respond with a 10-play series that ended with a 55-yard field goal.

Tied at 6-6 in the late first half, the Jaguars briefly lost Lawrence to an injury — and then the football: Jerry Hughes forced a fumble to end a promising Jacksonville drive at the Buffalo 20-yard line. With the team’s offense unable to capitalize, however, the teams headed into the locker room in a tie.

The Bills had a chance to break that tie in the early third period, but a good-looking drive came to an end when Josh Allen threw an interception at the Jaguars’ 19. That pick could have turned into points, but Matthew Wright missed two field goal attempts — one from 47 and then a second from 42 after a running into the kicker penalty — to leave the score as it was.

Buffalo failed to take advantage, however, and suffered yet another turnover: Allen threw his second interception of the day; this one was caught by Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen. That pick did turn into Jacksonville points, with Lawrence driving the team deep into Buffalo territory to go up 9-6 on a 21-yard kick.

While still only down by three, the Bills were unable to overcome the deficit. They punted on their next drive and then turned the football over one possession later when Jacksonville Josh Allen recovered a fumble by Buffalo Josh Allen. A final fourth-down attempt inside the two-minute warning fell incomplete, effectively ending the game and sealing the Bills’ third loss of the season.

Now at 5-3, they are only half a game ahead of the surging Patriots atop the AFC East.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

2. New England Patriots (5-4)

Week 9: 24-6 win over the Carolina Panthers, in Charlotte NC

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To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. New York Jets (2-6)

Week 9: 45-30 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, in Indianapolis IN

Coming off an upset win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8, the Jets had only a few days rest before their next game in Indianapolis. That Thursday Night meeting with the Colts would turn into another debacle for the team: New York got blown out yet again, while losing yet another quarterback to injury.

With starter Zach Wilson again out due to a knee issue suffered against the Patriots two weeks earlier, Mike White lined up under center yet again. The Jets’ QB2 led only two drives, however, before a nerve contusion in his forearm forced him to exit the game. Those two drives resulted in seven points: White’s final play of the day was a 19-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Moore to tie the game at 7-7 late in the first quarter.

When third-string quarterback Josh Johnson entered the game, New York was down 14-7: the Jets defense had given up its second touchdown in as many drives. Johnson’s first series, meanwhile, ended in disaster: he lost a fumble on his fifth play, which was turned into yet another Indianapolis TD.

Johnson and company did cut into their deficit a bit inside the two-minute warning — Matt Ammendola made a 33-yard field goal — but New York’s defense continued to stand no chance against the Colts. Indianapolis drove 75 yards in only 1:34 to score another touchdown and take a 28-10 lead into the locker room at the half.

After giving up touchdowns on all four of the Colts’ possessions in the first half, the Jets defense was finally able to get a stop on the opening drive of the third quarter. While Indianapolis was again able to drive deep into New York territory, the series stalled when the Jets stuffed a run on 4th-and-goal from their own 2-yard line. New York, however, did not take advantage of the potential momentum shift. Instead, the team went three-and-out.

With the Jets earning an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the ensuing punt, they set up the Colts in prime field position again. Three plays and 40 yards later, the team was in the end zone yet again to take a 35-10 lead. Another three-and-out later, that lead grew to 42-10: New York gave up a 78-yard touchdown run on the first play of Indianapolis’ next possession.

With more than six minutes left in the game, it was effectively over.

Johnson did lead the Jets to touchdowns on each of their next three drives, but with the Colts adding a field goal and intercepting the New York quarterback late the score was finalized at 45-30.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. Miami Dolphins (2-7)

Week 9: 17-9 win over the Houston Texans, in Miami Gardens FL

The Dolphins’ seven-game losing streak is finally over — and the team managed to end it without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa: the former first-round draft pick due to a fractured finger on his throwing hand, forcing backup and former Patriot Jacoby Brissett into the lineup.

Brissett and the Dolphins opened their game against the 1-7 Texans in possession of the football, but they did not go anywhere — gaining zero yards on a three-and-out drive. Houston fared better initially, marching into the Miami red zone on its first attempt. However, the drive stalled thanks to Dolphins rookie safety Jevon Holland intercepting quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the end zone for a touchback.

Brissett and company replied by driving 80 yards in 12 plays to score the first points of the day: Myles Gaskin found the end zone from six yards out after receiving a direct snap.

Following a defensive three-and-out, the team had a chance to put more points on the board but Brissett threw an interception to end the possession — the first of two straight Miami drives ending in turnovers. While the interception did not lead to any Houston points, a Gaskin fumble in Dolphins territory did: the Texans scored a field goal to make it a 7-3 game midway through the second quarter.

Houston scored a second field goal following another Miami giveaway — Jevon Holland lost a fumble on a punt return — but the Dolphins suddenly came to life again at that point. First, the team widened its lead to 10-6 on a Jason Sanders field goal, then it turned a Jerome Baker interception into another score: Brissett connected with Mack Hollins to put the team up 17-6 just before the half.

The third quarter saw more interceptions: Tyrod Taylor was picked off by Justin Coleman to end the opening drive of the second half, with Brissett getting intercepted by Houston’s Maliek Collins just three plays later. Those two drives were a sign of things to come, with the game turning into a struggle from that point on.

The game saw five more punts, two more turnovers — one each by the Dolphins and Texans — and only three points in the early fourth period thanks to a Houston field goal. In the end, though, the home team was able to hold on to improve its record to 2-7 on the year.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.