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AFC East roundup: The home stretch

What can each team improve on in the last quarter?

Week 13 of the NFL season is in the books and we’re entering the last quarter of the season where moves can be made for a playoff run. The AFC East went 2-2 this week as the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins were winners while the New England Patriots and New York Jets both lost. Even though the Bills and Patriots are the only teams in the division with playoff hopes, there’s still something for each team to improve on during the home stretch.

Buffalo Bills: Kicking Consistency

Bills fans and the team love Stephen Hauschka but he hasn’t been his best this year. Sadly, we were reminded of that on Thanksgiving against the Dallas Cowboys where he had perfect kicking conditions in the dome. Hauschka missed a field goal and almost missed another that caught a good bounce off the upright. He also missed an extra point that could have proven costly but luckily the offense and defense were cruising so it didn’t come into play. On the season he’s missed six field goals and two extra points, We know Hauschka can be a good kicker but fans would like to see him more consistent instead of holding their collective breath every time he steps up to the ball now.

New England Patriots: An Offensive Spark

The Patriots are having trouble scoring points on offense and the frustration is starting to reach a boiling point. New England scored 22 against the Texans but were only at 9 going into the fourth quarter on their way to a 28-22 defeat. At one point in the game, Tom Brady was shown yelling at his receivers for not getting separation. Brady did pass for three touchdowns but they were all in the second half when the Texans appeared to let off the gas on defense. The offense needs to find some new life to get off to a fast start and take some pressure off a great defense that isn’t scoring the touchdowns it did earlier in the season.

Miami Dolphins: Stay true to who you are

Miami was once the laughing stock of the league earlier this season as many thought they wouldn’t win a game the whole season. However, they got another respectable win against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday to claim their third win. When it comes to improving on something down the stretch, Miami should keep doing what they have been—fighting. This team isn’t rolling over and looking ahead to next year, it’s showing up each and every week ready to knock teams out that take them lightly. Fitzpatrick had a great game with over 300 yards while DeVante Parker was huge with 159 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Much respect to Brian Flores for rallying this team to get something good out of the season.

New York Jets: Figure out who you are

Unlike the Dolphins, it’s unclear who the Jets are this season. With such high hopes coming into the season, it’s been anything but good for this team. On Sunday they hit another low by giving the Cincinnati Bengals their first win of the season. After looking so good the past couple of weeks, Darnold went back to being inconsistent, going 28 of 48 for only 239 yards and no touchdowns. Adam Gase has already been told that he’ll be back next season, but this football team needs an identity because they’ve been one of the most inconsistent teams all season. When they’re clicking they can put up some big points like in games against the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins but, on the flip side, they’ve also given the Dolphins and Bengals their first wins of the season.