NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (11-2)
Offense/Defense Rankings:No. 3*(27 Rush, 1 Pass) & No. 6 (10 Rush, 7 Pass) *Turnover Department:T7 (5) The Skinny:That two-game losing streak seems like a distant memory. Not only did the Patriots dominate the Texans in Houston, but they also regained control in the AFC as both the Bengals and the Broncos tasted defeat Sunday. Two weeks after sustaining a knee injury in Denver, TE Rob Gronkowski returned to the lineup and caught 4 balls for 87 yards with 1 TD in a 27-6 victory. They Said It:Longtime Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy examined the Patriots' complete effort in Houston. The Pats are more than just an all-time great at QB as this defense continues to impress, ranking 2nd in the NFL with 42 sacks.
"New England's front seven was immense," Shaughnessy wrote. "The Patriots embarrassed Houston's offense. The Texans totaled a pitiful seven first downs and allowed their quarterbacks to be sacked six times." Up Next: vs. Tennessee (3-10)
NEW YORK JETS (8-5)
Offense/Defense Rankings: *No. 9 (12 Rush, 12 Pass) & No. 5 (1 Rush, 19 Pass) *Turnovers: T7 (5) The Skinny: Speaking of Houston, the Jets' outlook didn't look so rosy when they left Texas on Nov. 22. But New York's AFC representative returned home and swept a pair of home games – Miami and Tennessee – sandwiched around a "road" victory at the NY Giants. The Jets are 8-5, tied with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC wild card race. In their 30-8 dismantling of the Titans, the Green & White scored on five first-half drives and the NFL's top-ranked rush defense yielded 24 yards on the ground. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker have been the NFL's most productive receiving tandem in 2015, having combined for a franchise season-high 20 receiving TDs. They Said It:The Jets took care of business Sunday, completely outclassing an overmatched Titans' opponent in a 27-0 1st half.
"If you're the Golden State Warriors, you can have a trap game," said coach Todd Bowles. "We're not that good." Up Next: @ Dallas (4-9)
Photos from Sunday's Matchup Against Tennessee
BUFFALO BILLS (6-7)
Offense/Defense Rankings: No. 14 (3 Rush, 28 Pass) & No. 20 (14 Rush, 22 Pass)
Turnover Department: No. 11 (3)
The Skinny: The Bills never truly got a roll in 2015 and their 23-20 loss to the Eagles Sunday all but eliminated them from postseason contention. Having not made a playoff appearance since 1999, the Bills will continue to have the longest playoff drought among major sports.
They Said It: In a league marked by its parity, the Bills have lost a number of close games. Buffalo News reporter Tyler Dunne examined the future of first-year starter Tyrod Taylor, an athletic young QB who has failed to get B-Lo over the hump in each of the Bills past three losses.
"Taylor's numbers will look good when it's all said and done this season," Dunne wrote. "He's completing 63.5 percent of his passes for 2,439 yards with 18 touchdowns, only five interceptions and another 371 rushing yards and three scores. Taylor can throw a beautiful deep ball and has one of the best deep-ball receivers in the NFL (Sammy Watkins). Not to mention, his running ability will always get the Bills out of jams. But can the 6-foot-1 quarterback last for the long haul in the pocket?"
Up Next: @ Washington (6-7)
MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-8)
Offense/Defense Rankings: No. 27 (20 Rush, 22 Pass) & No. 28 (30 Rush, 26 Pass)
Turnover Department: No. 23 (-3)
The Skinny: The Dolphins had no answers for Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. Monday night, falling 31-24. Miami actually has played well outside the AFC East this season, but its 0-5 division record made a winning record improbable.
They Said It: It is still hard to believe that Beckham Jr. and Dolphins' wideout Jarvis Landry played together at LSU. While the Dolphins face an uncertain offseason, Landry is a building block who should only get better. Dolphins.com's Andy Cohen's game analysis included a look at the former Tiger stars.
"For the first time in their football lives, wide receivers and best friends Beckham and Landry got to face each other Monday night," Cohen wrote. "They both played well, but Beckham gets the nod with two touchdowns and 161 yards on seven receptions compared to Landry's 11 catches for 99 yards. I know Beckham is super good, but Landry's future appears almost as promising.
Up Next: @ San Diego (3-10)