Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Morning State of the Division: Post-Week 9


The world has returned to normalcy: The New England Patriots are alone atop the AFC East, as each team in the division has cleared the bye week.

Sunday, the Miami Dolphins had a chance to grab a share of the division lead with the Patriots on a bye, but Miami fell just short in a 23-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, thanks in part to uncharacteristically-poor third-down defense. The Dolphins now sit at 4-4 and one game behind New England.

Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills finally found some defense against the Houston Texans, but the offense sputtered with its best players getting limited touches. Buffalo dropped to 3-5 and stands alongside the New York Jets, who were on their bye, at the bottom of the division.

What's ahead:

The Patriots should cruise to a victory when they host the Bills, and the Dolphins host the 3-6 Tennessee Titans for a chance to keep pace as the division's runner-up. Tennessee was blown out by the Chicago Bears Sunday.

Things don't get any easier for the Jets, who travel to Seattle to take on the 5-4 Seahawks, who are coming off a victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The division should really shape up the following two weeks, as the Dolphins and Bills face off in Week 11, and the Jets host the Patriots Week 12.

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