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AFC East Roundup: Taking off the gloves

It’s go time

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

It was a productive week of NFL football for the AFC East with all four teams winning in Week 12. Heading into Week 13, it’s time for the division to take off the training wheels and kick things into high gear as the season reaches the home stretch.

Sorry to New York Jets fans because while the other three teams are looking ahead to a potential postseason run, Jersey fans already have their eyes on next season. However, there are positives to be taken out of the 21-14 win over the Houston Texans. The defense is starting to play the way many envisioned it would at the start of the season. The Jets held Houston to only 202 yards of total offense. Defensive end John Franklin-Myers became the first Jets player to have two sacks and an interception since 1985. Now, the offense still has a long ways to go but at least one part of the team appears to be playing well—but they’ll need to sustain that success beyond one game.

Saying this seems crazy but, the Miami Dolphins have a chance to run the table and fight for a playoff spot. After the Dolphins thumped the Carolina Panthers, Miami has amassed a four-game winning streak and showed that their victory over the Baltimore Ravens a couple of weeks ago was not out of pure luck. The Dolphins have remaining games against the Jets, a banged up New Orleans Saints team, a super banged up Tennessee Titans team, and the New England Patriots—who the Miami defeated in Week 1. With Tua Tagovailoa stepping up his game and receiver Jaylen Waddle, who is on pace to set the rookie record for catches, the Dolphins could finish the year 10-7 and salvage a season that was headed towards a collapse after seven straight losses.

With those teams out of the way we can focus on the main event. On Monday night, the Buffalo Bills will play host to the New England Patriots, this is the first of two games in the next few weeks between the Bills and Patriots that will determine the winner of the division, and potentially the top overall seed. In one corner we have Buffalo, which appeared to have right the ship after a dominating win against the New Orleans Saints on Thanksgiving. In the other corner New England continued their hot streak against a Titans team that was able to run the ball at will. The wild card is of course the season-ending injury to Tre’Davious White—so it will be up to Levi Wallace to defend Kendrick Bourne who has been playing great football the last couple of weeks.