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AFC East Rundown – Week 16

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend in the AFC East started with a wild Saturday night in Las Vegas. It ended on Monday Night where the world saw that one Bill didn’t stand a chance against a team of Bills.

Belichick and the Patriots have dominated the AFC East for more than a decade and after this week you get the feeling that things are going to be a little different for the foreseeable future. 

New England Patriots (6-9)

The Patriots lost 38-9 to the Bills. New England started out running the ball well, but Buffalo quickly got that under control. Cam Newton threw for a paltry 34 yards and missed on some open targets. Jarrett Stidham was not much better in relief with 44 passing yards. This game was over by halftime.

Next up for the Patriots: 

The Patriots will close out the season at home against the (2 -13) New York Jets. The game is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. EST. A few weeks ago if we said that one of these teams would be on a two-game winning streak and the other a two-game losing streak, the assumption would be the Patriots would be on the winning side of that statement. However, it’s the other way around as the Patriots have stumbled to their first losing season in 20 years. New England will be playing hard in this game to prove they deserve to return next season.

Buffalo Bills (12–3)

The Bills continue to roll and look like the hottest team in the NFL right now. They defeated the Patriots 38-9 and are on a five-game win streak. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs were unstoppable yet again in this game. Allen threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns, with three of those touchdowns going to Diggs. This game felt like the official changing of the guard. The Bills turned the tables on the New England Patriots with the world watching. 

Next up for the Bills: 

The Bills close out the season against the division rival (10-5) Miami Dolphins at 1:00 p.m. EST. Buffalo has already clinched a playoff berth and the division title but still have something to play for. If the Bills defeat the Dolphins, they secure the No. 2 seed and guarantee a second home playoff game in the event they advance. Not to mention they get the satisfaction of potentially eliminating a rival.

New York Jets (2-13)

The Jets defeated the Cleveland Browns 23-16, winning their second straight game. The Browns wide receiver group was decimated by COVID-19. There were six Cleveland players out due to COVID-19 protocols, four of them being wideouts. No one takes pity on you in the NFL and the Jets had a job to do and they did it. 

Next up for the Jets: 

New York will finish their season off against the (6-9) New England Patriots. The Jets look to avoid the season sweep to the Patriots. Both of these teams will be making significant changes in the offseason. A good game and a win could bode well for the future of some of the Jets players and staff. 

Miami Dolphins (10-5)

No one saw this season’s success coming for the Dolphins. And no one saw Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing a miraculous pass to set up a game-winning field goal against the Las Vegas Raiders; not even Fitzpatrick himself. Ryan admitted he did not know the pass was completed as a result of the facemask penalty that twisted his head back. The Dolphins defeated the Raiders 26-25 in what may go down as their signature win of 2020. 

Next up for the Dolphins: 

For the Dolphins, it does not get any bigger than this. As a result of a series of events this weekend, the Dolphins are now the five seed and a win this week clinches that. Miami will take on the (12-3) Bills in Orchard Park at 1:00 p.m. EST. 

The Dolphins can still make the playoffs with a loss but would need a loss by one of four other teams that all have favorable matchups. Despite having the best scoring defense, leading the league in takeaways and an offense scoring in the top half of the league; the Dolphins are still not looked at as legitimate contenders. NFL.com’s latest Power Rankings still have the Dolphins out of the top ten teams. A win over the Bills going into the playoffs should change that perception.

Lead Writer for 305Sports.net primarily covering the Miami Dolphins. Jamie is a lifelong sports fan and a student of the game. Jamie religiously attends Dolphins Home Games and considers Miami the coolest city on the planet. You can follow Jamie on Twitter @TheJamieBahamas and Instagram @JamieBahamas

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