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AFC East Roundup: Season’s gifting

Naughty or nice—what awaited the AFC East?

Buffalo Bills Vs. New England Patriots At Gillette Stadium Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Now that Week 16 is in the books, NFL teams can finally enjoy some holiday gatherings they may have missed out on while it was Festivus for the rest of us. There are still some unopened gifts so let’s see what the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets received.

The Bills were eager to see what was inside their mystery box standing at 5’8”. To their surprise and delight it was a life-size figure of Isaiah McKenzie. It’s a surprising but well-deserved gift as McKenzie just completed a career-best game. Filling in as the primary slot receiver, McKenzie caught 11 of his 12 targets for 125 yards and a touchdown on 4th & GOAL. He was a big reason why Buffalo defeated New England and made the holidays enjoyable for Bills fans around the globe.

The Patriots may not have come away Sunday with a victory but there was still a present waiting for them. Robert Kraft received a nice envelope containing a card from none other than Tom Brady on the beach wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. Mac Jones hasn’t played awful this season but I'm guessing the team feels it would have been nice to have Brady back under center the past couple of games. With each contest having extra meaning in December as the playoffs draw near, it’s been a bit of a disappointment that Jones hasn’t played as efficiently as he did earlier in the season. Patriots fans are hopeful things turn around quick for Jones, otherwise the team will find itself at home on Wild Card weekend.

The Dolphins were dejected when they didn’t see a gift waiting for them, since the rest of the division had received presents. Seemingly content to be forgotten, a knock was suddenly heard at the Hard Rock Stadium doors. On the other side was a delivery from Duff’s Famous Wings with a plethora of holiday heat for the team to enjoy. “From your friends in Buffalo,” it succinctly said. Way back in Week 1 the Dolphins defeated the Patriots. Thanks to the outcome of that game, the Bills currently hold the tie breaker over New England for the AFC East lead. These wings could also energize Miami in their continued push toward an improbable playoff berth.

The Jets had no idea what kind of present awaited them in the throes of a disappointing season. In a little stocking were plane tickets to Las Vegas, the home of the 2022 NFL Draft. It’s time to look ahead to next season, with the Jets currently in possession of the fourth and seventh picks in the drafts first round. The tickets (and those pair of first-round picks) represent promise for a franchise devoid of much since Broadway Joe famously guaranteed a Super Bowl win. It’s fitting that next year’s draft is being held in Las Vegas, since the Jets will make a huge gamble on those pair of picks—hoping that they can finally turn around the franchise.