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AFC East Report: Bills come up short in the best game of the season, and more takeaways from Week 10

Related: 75 thoughts on the current state of the Patriots

Minnesota Vikings v Buffalo Bills Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images

The 10th 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. It is a rather short one compared to previous versions, with two teams — the New England Patriots and New York Jets — on a bye.

The other two teams in the division did take the field over the weekend, though, with varying degrees of success: whereas the Miami Dolphins won their fourth straight game, the Buffalo Bills dropped their second in a row to fall from the top of the AFC East standings.

With that all said, let’s take a look at each club’s Week 10 performance both from afar and through the eyes of each SB Nation affiliate.

1. Miami Dolphins

Record: 7-3

Week 10: 39-17 win over the Cleveland Browns, in Miami Gardens FL

Halfway through the season there is little doubt about the Dolphins’ status: they are a definitive contender, thanks in large part due to their high-octane offense led by head coach Mike McDaniel and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Against the Browns in Week 10, the unit’s firepower was on display throughout the day.

After giving up a touchdown on the game’s opening drive, the Dolphins moved into scoring range on each of their eight possessions before running out the clock in the fourth quarter. Their first-half drives ended with a touchdown, field goal, turnover on downs at the Cleveland 14, and another touchdown.

And with the defense playing a perfect complementary role — the unit recovered a fumble and forced a turnover on downs of its own — Miami headed into the half up 17-7. Things would not get any better for the Browns, with the home team just piling on in the second half en route to a 39-17 win.

One unlikely hero for the Dolphins was running back Jeff Wilson. Wilson was acquired from the San Francisco 49ers ahead of the trade deadline, and finished the game with 19 touches for 143 yards and a 20-yard rushing touchdown to finalize the score. Having him on top of a red-hot Tagovailoa (25-for-32, 285 yards, 3 TDs) and a receiving group led by Tyreek Hill (5-44, 1 TD) and Jalen Waddle (4-66) left Cleveland no chance.

The Phinsider coverage:

2. New York Jets

Record: 6-3

Week 10: Bye

The Jets entered their bye week with an upset win over the Bills, and it allowed them to eventually leapfrog their rivals while they were off. With Buffalo dropping to 6-3 in Week 10, New York is now ahead of the team in the standings as the fifth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Their upcoming game against the Patriots will naturally be a big one for the Jets: they could jump to the top of the division with a win over New England.

Gang Green Nation coverage:

3. Buffalo Bills

Record: 6-3

Week 10: 33-30 OT loss to the Minnesota Vikings, in Orchard Park NY

Say what you want about the Bills, they are quite entertaining. Their Week 10 matchup against the visiting Vikings was just that — and might have a solid case for the best game of the NFL season so far.

Despite Minnesota entering the game as 7.5-point underdogs, the team came out ready to play and took an early 7-0 lead. That lead was not meant to last, however, with the Bills scoring three touchdowns and a field goal to head into the locker room at the half up 24-10.

That lead also evaporated quickly, even though it increased to 17 points at one point in the late third period. However, a Josh Allen interception allowed Minnesota to come within four points and drive for the potential win in the fourth quarter. What followed next was one of the wackiest two minutes in recent memory.

First, the Vikings converted a 4th-and-18 via a miraculous one-handed grab by wide receiver Justin Jefferson. They then were stopped on a 4th-and-inches at the goal line, but eventually scored when the Bills offense botched the ensuing snap. With 41 seconds still to go, however, Allen drove his team to a game-tying field goal that sent the contest to overtime.

The extra period started with Minnesota scoring a field goal of its own, before Allen’s second red zone interception sealed the deal. As a result, the Bills have now dropped to the third spot in the AFC East and the sixth seed in the conference’s playoff race.

Buffalo Rumblings coverage:

4. New England Patriots

Record: 5-4

Week 10: Bye

Their bye week was a successful one for the Patriots. Not only did they get some much-needed time off and an opportunity to get some talent back from injury — including center David Andrews and wide receiver DeVante Parker — they also snuck into the playoff picture: with the Los Angeles Chargers dropping their Week 10 game in San Francisco, New England is now the seventh-ranked team in the AFC.

Pats Pulpit coverage: