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AFC East Report: Dolphins outlast Bills to stay undefeated

Related: Patriots vs. Ravens: New England falls to Baltimore 37-26 in home opener

Syndication: Palm Beach Post Jim Rassol / USA TODAY NETWORK

The third 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. As opposed to last week’s this one was a negative from the New England Patriots’ perspective: the team of head coach Bill Belichick lost its Week 3 game against the Baltimore Ravens 37-26, and quarterback Mac Jones to injury along the way.

The Patriots were not the only team in the division to come up short. In fact, only the Miami Dolphins celebrated a win, beating the Buffalo Bills. The New York Jets also came out with an L.

With that all said, let’s take a look at each club’s Week 3 performance — both from afar and through the eyes of each SB Nation affiliate.

1. Miami Dolphins

Record: 3-0

Week 3: 21-19 win over the Buffalo Bills, in Miami Gardens FL

Three weeks into the season, only two undefeated teams remain. One is the Dolphins, who were able to outlast the visiting Bills at Hard Rock Stadium to win their third straight under first-year head coach Mike McDonald.

The game itself was a back-and-forth affair that did not see a ton of points, but was competitive throughout. Buffalo took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Dolphins’ Chase Edmonds tied the game shortly thereafter. The visitors then jumped ahead 14-7, but a Tua Tagovailoa touchdown pass to River Cracraft evened the score again.

Tavogailoa exited the game with what was diagnosed as a back injury shortly before the half, but he returned in the third quarter to lead his team to victory. After the Bills took a 17-14 lead, the third-year QB drove his team to its third TD: Edmonds found the end zone to put Miami up 21-17.

While a bizarre punt play gave the Bills two more points via a safety, Miami was able to hang on and stay atop the AFC East.

The Phinsider coverage:

2. Buffalo Bills

Record: 2-1

Week 3: 21-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins, in Miami Gardens FL

The Bills are still one of the best teams in the NFL, and the favorites to win the AFC East, but they had to suffer their first defeat of the year in Week 3. Going on the road against the Dolphins, Buffalo put up some impressive numbers — out-gaining the Dolphins by over 200 yards and converting 60 percent of third downs — but it was not enough to secure a win.

The Bills started quickly and scored the game’s first touchdown on their opening drive, with Josh Allen and Devin Singletary connecting for six points. However, an Allen fumble on the next possession gave Miami the ball and allowed the home team to tie the game; it was one of three fumbles Buffalo’s QB had on the day but the team’s only giveaway.

The teams then exchanged touchdowns again in the second quarter — Isaiah McKenzie scored the Bills’ — before a Tyler Bass field goal put the visitors up 17-14 in the third period. They had an opportunity to exchange their lead by three more points, but Bass missed a 38-yard field goal try wide to the left, allowing Miami to jump up 21-17.

Buffalo then drove all the way up to the Dolphins’ 1-yard line, but was eventually stopped on fourth down. Miami did then gift the team two points via a safety resulting from a blocked punt, but the Bills were unable to set up a potentially game-winning field goal on the next possession. Instead, they simply ran out of time at the Miami 41.

Buffalo Rumblings coverage:

3. New York Jets

Record: 1-2

Week 3: 27-12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, in East Rutherford NJ

Coming off a miraculous victory over the Cleveland Browns the previous week, the Jets again fell into an early goal. With kicker Greg Zuerlein providing their only offensive scores, New York found itself down 14-6 to the reigning AFC champions at the end of the first quarter.

The Bengals eventually took a 20-9 lead into the locker room at the half, with the Joe Flacco-led New York offense unable to provide any answers — in large part due to four turnovers from the veteran quarterback: Flacco threw two interceptions and lost two of his three fumbles. While Cincinnati also turned the ball over once, it was not enough for the Jets to overcome their struggles on offense.

In the end, all 12 of New York’s points were scored by Zuerlein. It was not enough to match the Bengals’ 27.

Gang Green Nation coverage:

4. New England Patriots

Record: 1-2

Week 3: 37-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, in Foxborough MA

The first two-and-a-half quarters of their Week 3 home opener against Baltimore might have been the Patriots’ best performance in quite a while. They went toe-to-toe with one of the best offenses in football, thanks in part due to a promising performance on defense and an offense that finally moved the ball effectively through the air.

The two teams headed into the half with New England trailing 14-13, but the team took a 20-14 lead in the third quarter. From that point on, however, things started to unravel. Not only did the Ravens score 17 unanswered to jump ahead 31-20, cracks also started to show on offense: the unit turned the football over four times over its final five possessions.

The Patriots still had their opportunities to stay competitive, but they simply made too many mistakes in all three phases to do that. The game came to a bitter end when Mac Jones tossed his third interception of the day: he suffered a high ankle sprain on the play and is expected to miss multiple weeks as a result.

Pats Pulpit coverage: