The sixth week of the 2022 NFL regular season is in the books, and it’s now time for the latest installment of the AFC East Report. Once again, it is a positive one from a New England Patriots perspective: despite starting rookie backup quarterback Bailey Zappe for a second straight week, the Patriots won in convincing fashion against the Cleveland Browns.
They were not the only team in the division to come away with impressive victories this week. The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets also earned themselves a W, with only the Miami Dolphins coming up short.
With that all said, let’s take a look at each club’s Week 6 performance — both from afar and through the eyes of each SB Nation affiliate.
1. Buffalo Bills
Week 5: 24-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, in Kansas City MO
Are the Bills the best team in the NFL right now? They certainly have a strong case, especially after beating the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 6. That victory, after all, was an impressive show of strength on both sides of the ball.
The game started as a defensive affair, with both teams turning the ball over in the red zone before Buffalo jumped to a short-lived 3-0 lead in the second period. The game picked up pace at that point, with Kansas City re-taking a 7-3 lead that eventually turned into a 10-7 deficit with 16 seconds left in the half. Nonetheless, the Chiefs tied the game before the half.
The second half was more of the same, with the two team exchanging touchdowns before the Chiefs went up by a field goal. With under six minutes to play, however, Josh Allen conducted a 12-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Dawson Knox.
Kansas City still had a minute left to re-take the lead, but Taron Johnson closed that door shut two plays later by intercepting Patrick Mahomes and sealing his team’s 24-20 victory.
Buffalo Rumblings coverage:
- Buffalo Bills 24, Kansas City Chiefs 20: Rapid recap and notes
- Bills 24, Chiefs 20: Five things we learned
- Bills 24, Chiefs 20: rounding up reactions, recaps
- Bills vs. Chiefs film analysis: Von Miller time in KC
2. New York Jets
Week 5: 27-10 win over the Green Bay Packers, in Green Bay WI
The Jets remain one of the biggest surprise stories in the NFL six weeks into the season. They are in second place in the AFC East, fifth in the conference, and have won three straight games — including a 17-point rout of the Packers in Week 6.
That game started as a slow affair, with the teams heading into the half tied at 3-3. In the third quarter, however, the Jets started pulling away. How? Their defense made timely plays, the offense hit a big pass followed by a 20-yard Braxton Berrios touchdown run, and special teams scored off a blocked punt.
Just like that, New York was up 17-3. While Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers brought his team within seven, impressive rookie Breece Hall extended the lead again with a 34-yard TD. The defense then forced a fourth-down stop followed by a field goal drive that took seven minutes off the clock and iced the game.
Green Bay’s offensive ineptitude contributed to the win, but the Jets still impressed. As a result, they can now celebrate being 4-2 and one of the hottest teams in the NFL.
Gang Green Nation coverage:
- Final Score Jets 27, Packers 10
- Jets 27 Packers 10: End the Misperceptions; the Jets Look Like They’re for Real
- Podcast: Quinnen Williams Stars In Jets Statement Win Over Packers
- Podcast: Is It Time to Raise Expectations for the Jets?
3. Miami Dolphins
Week 5: 24-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, in Miami Gardens FL
The Dolphins started the season 3-0 but things have quickly started to come apart after they lost both starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and also his backup, Teddy Bridgewater, to the concussion protocol. The result has been three straight losses, with the most recent one happening against the Vikings in Week 6.
With Skylar Thompson as its starter, Miami was unable to get much going early on. The team did eventually take a 3-0 lead but at that point Thompson had already left due to a thumb injury. Even with nominal QB2 Bridgewater reinserted into the lineup, the Dolphins offense was up and down throughout the day — leading to the team falling behind 16-3 in the early fourth quarter.
Miami did manage to come within six points, but Jaylen Waddle lost a crucial fumble in Minnesota territory when the team was potentially driving for the lead. Instead, Miami’s defense, which had its moments throughout the day, gave up a 53-yard Dalvin Cook touchdown run to effectively ice the game.
Tagovailoa is expected back in Week 7, so the hope for the team is that it finds its rhythm again.
The Phinsider coverage:
- Vikings vs Dolphins final score and immediate reactions
- The Good, Bad & Ugly from the Miami Dolphins’ week six loss to the Minnesota Vikings
- Miami Dolphins’ Most Valuable Player | Week Six | Tyreek Hill is our first two-time winner!
- 3 Reasons Why The Miami Dolphins Lost To The Minnesota Vikings In Week 6
4. New England Patriots
Week 5: 38-15 win over the Cleveland Browns, in Cleveland OH
Coming off a 29-0 win over the Detroit Lions in Week 5, the Patriots were able to celebrate another blowout: they beat he Browns 38-15, with big plays in all three phases contributing to the victory.
On offense, third-string rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe played his best game to date; the youngster threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns while completing 24 of 34 pass attempts. Fellow rookie Tyquan Thornton had two scores, as had running back Rhamondre Stevenson.
Meanwhile, the defense registered three takeaways: Kyle Dugger and Jalen Mills recorded interceptions, with Carl Davis recovering a fumble. Additionally, Brenden Schooler recovered a muffed punt. All in all, it was an impressive performance by a team that is clearly on the upswing after its 1-3 start.
Pats Pulpit coverage: