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AFC East Roundup: Betrayals of hope

During the season of hope and dreams, most of the AFC East is longing for a brighter December

NFL: NOV 26 Bills at Eagles

Last week for the AFC East Roundup we talked about how each team in the division had some hope to cling to at this point in the season. The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins were looking at the immediate future for hope. Meanwhile the New York Jets were hanging on to hope for later in the season while the New England Patriots were hanging on to whatever little hope they had left. After Week 12 in the NFL season, three out of the four fan bases of these teams ended up betrayed after having hope their team could turn things around.

Perhaps the biggest betrayal of all lies with the Buffalo Bills. One would think that Bills Mafia is used to this team betraying them, but week after week they seem to find new ways to do it. The offense was in control the majority of their Week 12 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but the defense couldn’t find the recipe for success when it came to stopping the Eagles after halftime. Then there’s the betrayal of head coach Sean McDermott failing to trust quarterback Josh Allen with a timeout and 20 seconds to try and get the team into field goal range for the win in regulation. Knowing how things usually go, fans will regain hope after the bye week only to have their hearts broken in yet another crazy way.

The Dolphins were the only team that gave their fans even more hope as the season moves into December. It wasn’t pretty at times but Miami was able to take care of business against the Jets to move to 8-3 on the season and atop of the AFC standings. This team had Super Bowl aspirations heading into the season and everything seems to be on track for them to be playing football in February. Mentally the Dolphins will face a tough test because last season the team didn’t win a game in December. More December losses could turn their hope into betrayal, joining the other teams in the division.

The team that they beat, the Jets have been betrayed not only by quarterback Aaron Rodgers but owner Joe Douglas as well. Yes, Rodgers couldn’t control his injury but he did have control over the roster that was constructed. Rodgers brought in his favorite receivers and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett — who’s proven capable of little this season. With Douglas catering to the needs of Rodgers, the offensive line was neglected and there’s no better stat to show that than running back Breece Hall averaging zero yards before contact during the month of November. Fans had all the hope in the world for this football team before the season but now all the snow birds are probably on their way to Florida.

New England Patriots fans were at the point of holding out hope for a high draft spot next year, but that doesn’t mean betrayal’s off the table. After all, the team reached a new low by falling to undrafted rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito and the New York Giants by a score of 10-7. Overtime seemed all but certain with New England lining up for a 35 yard field goal. Instead, the kick missed to the left, giving the Giants the victory. The bright spot coming out of the game is that the loss moves the Patriots to the number-three overall pick in the draft.