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Interesting Results in Week One for the AFC East

Ryan Tannehill leads the Dolphins into Cleveland.

Ryan Tannehill led the Dolphins into Cleveland.

It certainly was not boring in the first week for the AFC East Division. The New York Jets were practically handed a victory by the refs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New England Patriots barely escaped with a 23-21 win over the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins quickly squashed any dreams Cleveland Browns fans may have had that their moribund franchise might be turning things around after a decent preseason.

The Buccaneers took a 17-15 lead with 34 seconds to play against the Jets in New York (or is it still New Jersey?). But with rookie quarterback Geno Smith leading the way, and with the aid of a late hit penalty that was more a gentle shove than a hit. The Bucs didn’t complain about the flag though, so it must have been the correct call. Nick Folk then kicked a game winning field goal form 47 yards instead of what would have been a 62 yard attempt to win it. Kellen Winslow got a measure of revenge against his former team with seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.

Tom Brady has new receivers but the results were much the same. Danny Amendola, brought in to replace the departed Wes Welker, led the Pats with 10 catches for 104 yards, Julian Edelman caught seven balls for 79 yards and two touchdowns and Shane Vereen snagged seven passes for 58 yards. The Bills did surprise many with their efforts which nearly resulted in an upset over the Patriots, which have dominated this division for years. The Bills led 21-17 going into the fourth quarter behind rookie quarterback E. J. Manuel who had two touchdown passes in his debut. But in the end it was the veteran Brady who took the Pats down the field to set up kicker Stephen Gostkowski to kick his third field goal of the day with :05 on the clock to win it.

In Cleveland, the Dolphins may have been the strongest team of all in the East division. They led the Browns from start to finish except for falling behind briefly 7-6 late in the first half. Ryan Tannehill marched Miami down the field in the third quarter, firing a 34 yard touchdown to Brian Hartline with 6:00 left in the quarter to put hem up 13-7. Tannehill ended the day going 24 for 38 for 272 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Caleb Sturgis kicked three field goals, all over 38 yards. Hartline had nine catches for 114 yards ans a touchdown.

Next week, the Dolphins will take on the Indianapolis Colts who are also 1-0. If Miami wins they will be tied for the East lead with the winner of Thursday’s game between the Jets and Patriots in New England’s home opener. Buffalo will look to get in the win column when they play the 0-1 Carolina Panthers at home.

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