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AFC East Report: Bills lose division lead, and other Week 11 takeaways

Related: Patriots take AFC East lead after Bills’ loss to Colts

Wild Card Round - Indianapolis Colts v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The 11th 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 jump to the top spot, the Buffalo Bills suffer a blowout loss at home, the Miami Dolphins win their third straight, and the New York Jets drop to 2-8.

Let’s dive straight in.

1. New England Patriots (7-4)

Week 11: 25-0 win over the Atlanta Falcons, in Atlanta GA

Patriots vs. Falcons: New England’s defense rolls Atlanta in 25-0 shutout

Instant analysis from Patriots’ 25-0 win over Falcons

Patriots pitch 13th shutout of the Bill Belichick era in Thursday Night blowout of Falcons

7 winners and 1 loser from the Patriots’ victory over the Falcons

The Lane Breakdown: 10 takeaways from the Patriots’ win over the Falcons

Mac Jones on Patriots’ offensive performance against Falcons: ‘We can play better, and we will’

This Patriots defense is not taking any prisoners: ‘We’re going to fight for every yard and every inch’

Mac Jones made rookie quarterback history against the Falcons

Patriots vs. Falcons: Fan Notes from the Game

Patriots vs. Falcons snap count report: New England deploys fresh faces in 25-0 win

Patriots vs. Falcons injury analysis: New England escapes its short week unharmed

Patriots vs. Falcons rookie review: Rhamondre Stevenson sees plenty of action even with Damien Harris back

Mac Attack: Mac Jones delivers another solid performance against the Falcons

Ja’Whaun Bentley might be the Patriots’ most improved player this season

Mac Jones threw an interception against the Falcons. Josh McDaniels was still impressed with the play.

Comparing Mac Jones to the other first-round rookie quarterbacks after Week 11

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

2. Buffalo Bills (6-4)

Week 11: 41-15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, in Orchard Park NY

After leading the AFC East for most of the last two seasons, the Bills have now dropped from the top spot: with the Patriots winning on Thursday Night, Buffalo needed a win of its own to stay ahead. The team could not deliver, and instead lost its fourth game of the season — and third in the last five — in blowout fashion.

The contest against the visiting Colts started badly, with the Bills defense giving up a 65-yard touchdown drive right out of the game. The series was capped by Indianapolis running back Jonathan Taylor, who went on to dominate Buffalo all day long.

Things did not start any better for the Bills offense. While the unit did drive into field goal range on its opening possession, the drive ended with two straight penalties pushing the team back which were followed by a Josh Allen interception — one that set up the Colts’ second touchdown of the day, once again scored by Taylor.

Allen and company did reply in style this time, driving for their first touchdown of the day on an Allen pass to Stefon Diggs. However, momentum quickly and decisively shifted back to the Colts afterwards: the team scored a field goal on a 15-play drive to go up 17-7, before Bills return man Isaiah McKenzie lost a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. One play later, Taylor was in the end zone again to put his team up 24-7.

Buffalo had a chance to cut into its deficit right before the half, but a 57-yard Tayler Bass field goal attempt hit the right upright.

The second half began with the two teams exchanging punts before Bass missed yet another field goal try, this one from 49 yards away. The miss set up a five-play Colts drive that was capped — you guessed it — by Jonathan Taylor. Three plays later, Josh Allen threw another interception which led to Taylor’s fifth score of the afternoon.

With Indianapolis up 38-7 heading into the fourth quarter, the game was effectively over. Allen and Stefon Diggs did connect for another touchdown with the QB adding a two-point attempt, but the Buffalo defense surrendered another long scoring drive: the unit allowed Indianapolis to bleed six minutes off the clock before kicking a field goal to finalize the score at 41-15.

Backup quarterback Mitchell Trubisky throwing another interception did not change anything from the Bills’ point of view.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

3. Miami Dolphins (4-7)

Week 11: 24-17 win over the New York Jets, in East Rutherford NJ

The Dolphins have put their seven-game losing streak behind them in impressive fashion, winning their third straight game on Sunday by defeating the Jets 24-17. Now owning the third longest winning streak in the league behind only the Patriots’ five and the Kansas City Chiefs’ four, Miami is trending in the right direction with six games still left on its schedule.

The contest saw Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa start at his first game since Week 8, and he promptly led his troops on an 11-play, 83-yard touchdown drive — one that saw him complete all six of his pass attempts for a total of 61 yards. Jaylen Waddle eventually ended the series with a 1-yard scoring run.

Tagovailoa was unable to find the same success on Miami’s next possession, throwing an interception that set up the Jets’ first touchdown of the day. New York could have added to its lead in the early second period, but a promising-looking drive stalled in the red zone when Dolphins safety Brandon Jones forced a fumble that was eventually recovered by teammate Jevon Holland.

The play was exemplary for the second quarter: it was a defensive struggle, with neither team adding to the score. Both teams did come close at various points, but both the Jets and the Dolphins missed field goal attempts — Miami’s coming on the last play of the half, when a 32-yard Jason Sanders field goal try hit the right upright.

The third quarter eventually saw the Dolphins take the lead, however: Tagovailoa and Mack Hollins connected on a 65-yard touchdown pass to put their team up 14-7 early in the third period. The lead lasted only six minutes, though, before Miami also surrendered a big-play TD — this one coming from 62 yards away.

In the early fourth period, a massive 14-play drive did allow the visitors to go up again. Tagovailoa threw his second touchdown of the day — this one to Myles Gaskin from 5 yards away — to put Miami up 21-14. Following a three-and-out forced by the defense, the team then went on to seal the game: driving 45 yards in 12 plays, Sanders hit a 24-yard field goal to give the Dolphins a 10-point lead with only two minutes left to play.

The Jets did score a field goal with 15 seconds left, but the Dolphins recovered the subsequent onside kick to take home the victory.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.

4. New York Jets (2-8)

Week 11: 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins, in East Rutherford NJ

The Jets played some competitive football against the visiting Dolphins in Week 11, but for the third straight game and eighth overall they came up short. Losing 24-17, the team of first-year head coach Robert Saleh once more failed to make the pivotal plays in all three phases.

New York started on defense but immediately gave up an 83-yard touchdown drive. The offense, led by backup Joe Flacco, did not fare any bette and had to punt the ball away after reaching only one first down on its opening possession.

The Jets’ second defensive series, however, was a more promising one: Ashtyn Davis registered an interception in Miami territory to set up a five-play, 40-yard touchdown drive. That series was capped off by a 2-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Jamison Crowder on 4th-and-goal.

The team drove into goal-to-go range on its next possession as well, but Flacco was strip-sacked at the 5-yard line with the Dolphins recovering. New York did get another chance to add to its lead later in the second quarter, but rookie kicker Matt Ammendola sent a 55-yard field goal try straight onto the left upright — keeping the game tied at seven apiece heading into the half (thanks in part due to Miami also missing a field goal attempt in quarter No. 2).

Ammendola appeared to get another shot at putting his team up 10-7 on the first drive of the second half, but a deliberate delay of game penalty pushed the Jets out of his range again. New York wanted to give its punter more space to work with rather than try a 56-yard attempt. The ball was punted away, with the defense starting in good field position. It did not matter, though: four plays later, the Dolphins scored a 65-yard touchdown.

The Jets answered by driving into field goal range for real on the next series. However, they were unable to take advantage yet again: Ammendola missed wide to the left from 40 yards out to keep the game at 14-7 in the Dolphins’ favor.

Luckily for New York, its defense forced a quick three-and-out afterwards — setting up the team’s second touchdown drive: Flacco hit Elijah Moore on a quick slant, and the rookie wideout took the pass 62 yards into the end zone.

Unfortunately for the Jets, the tie did not last long. New York’s defense, after all, gave up a 14-play touchdown drive immediately after Moore’s touchdown. Down 21-14 with 10 minutes left to play, the pressure was once again on Flacco and the Jets offense.

They went three-and-out. Another long scoring drive later — this one taking almost seven minutes off the clock — the game was effectively decided in the Dolphins’ favor. Miami scored a field goal coming out of the two-minute warning, going up two scores.

While an Ammendola field goal from 35 yards away brought New York into one-score territory again, it was too little, too late. The Jets failed to recover the ensuing onside kick, dropping to 2-8 on the year.

To watch highlights of the game, click here.