Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski caught the 78th

pass of his career on Sunday Jason
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, and that puts him in some very elite company.The
29-year-old Gronkowski is now tied for third all time for the most touchdown
catches in NFL history for a player in his 20s. Randy Moss, who had 101
touchdown catches before turning 30, and Jerry Rice, who had 95 touchdown
catches before turning 30, are the only players with more. Terrell Owens also
had 78 touchdown catches before his 30th birthday.Gronkowski should catch at
least a few more touchdown passes this season, before turning 30 in the
offseason. He won’t catch Rice or Moss, but 80 or 85 touchdown catches before
turning 30 is not too shabby.Injuries have limited Gronkowski for much of his
career, and he’s already talking about walking away from the game. So it’s safe
to say he won’t finish with anything close to Rice’s incredible total of 197
touchdown catches. But he’s already done more in his 20s than almost any player
in NFL history. While the New England Patriots registered their fourth straight
win on Sunday, the team’s AFC East rivals went a combined 0-3. This, in turn,
allowed the Patriots to take a two-point lead over their closest competitor in
the division, the Miami Dolphins. Let’s find out how this week went down in the
latest edition of the AFC East Report:1. New England Patriots (5-2)Week 7: 38-31
win against the Chicago Bears, in Chicago ILTo watch highlights of the game,
click here.2. Miami Dolphins (4-3)Week 7: 32-21 loss against the Detroit Lions,
in Miami Gardens FLThe Miami Dolphins saw backup quarterback Brock Osweiler
(22/31, 239 yds, 2 TDs) play another solid game in place of the injured Ryan
Tannehill, but they still lost their third contest in four weeks to fall another
game behind the Patriots. The reasons for that? A defense that was susceptible
to the big play Troy
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, failed to get off the field in critical situations,
and allowed its opponent to run all over it. The offense, meanwhile, took to
long to get into a rhythm.While the home team opened the game with a
three-and-out, the Detroit Lions were able to march right down the field to take
a 7-0 lead. With Miami unable to get much going on its next two drives either,
the visitors went up 10-0 early in the second quarter. At that point, Adam
Gase’s team finally woke up and went on an 11-play drive that covered 77 yards
and ended with a touchdown pass from Osweiler to Kenny Stills (1/5 yds, 1
TD).With momentum on their side, the Dolphins surrendered another big touchdown
drive to their opponent and therefore went into halftime down 17-7. Coming out
of the locker rooms, Miami’s defense was unable to hang with the Detroit
offense: the team scored on all four of its possessions in the second half. It
started with a field goal, which was answered with a long touchdown run by
Kenyan Drake (6/72 yds, 1 TD).Detroit, however, responded with a touchdown drive
of its own and after another Miami punt increased its lead to 15 points. The
Dolphins’ third touchdown of the day – a 24-yard pass from Osweiler to
ex-Patriot Danny Amendola (6/84 yds, 1 TD) – brought back hope of a comeback but
Miami’s inability to force a punt came back to haunt the team once again: after
another Lions field goal, the team was down 11 with under two minutes to go.The
Dolphins ended the game with a missed field goal attempt and have now quickly
crashed back to earth after their 3-0 start. While the team is still very much
in the race for the division title or a wild card playoff spot, it is
undoubtably trending downwards. Maybe Tannehill’s return – which will not come
this week – will help turn the team’s fortunes around again.To watch highlights
of the game, click here.3. New York Jets (3-4)Week 7: 37-17 loss against the
Minnesota Vikings Limited
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, in East Rutherford NJComing off back-to-back
wins, the Jets were blown out at home by the visiting Minnesota Vikings. While
New York was able to keep the game close through the first half – mainly because
of a solid defensive performance – the team failed to keep up with the Vikings
over the final 30 minutes and has now fallen back below .500 due to
self-inflicted mistakes and inconsistent offensive play.The contest started
badly for the home team as it took Minnesota just four plays to reach the end
zone and go up 7-0. In the meantime, the team’s offense started slowly and had
to punt on its first two possessions – luckily for New York, the defense was
able to settle down after giving up the early touchdown. This, in turn, allowed
the Jets to tie the game late in the first quarter on a scoring pass from Sam
Darnold (17/42, 206 yds, 1 TD, 3 INTs) to Chris Herndon (4/42 yds, 1 TD).A field
goal after a short punt allowed the Vikings to get back on top early in the
second period. At that point, the game turned into a defensive showdown with
neither team being able to string together plays. While New York’s offense
struggled and turned the football over on a lost fumble by Darnold, its defense
– aided by a missed Minnesota field goal attempt – was able to keep the contest
close.Coming out of halftime down a mere three points, the Jets quickly fell
apart. Following a punt on the first drive, the Vikings not only scored their
second touchdown of the day they also picked off Darnold to set up a field goal.
Down 20-7, the Jets added a field goal of their own but the momentum would
firmly stay on the visitors’ side: Minnesota scored another touchdown early in
the fourth period to went up by 17.A quarterback sneak by Darnold made it a
two-possession game again, but the Jets failed to make the game any closer: two
more interceptions led to 10 more Vikings points to put the game out of reach.
Ultimately, New York had its moments but in between them made to many errors to
stay competitive for 60 minutes.To watch highlights of the game, click here.4.
Buffalo Bills (2-5)Week 7: 37-5 loss against the Indianapolis Colts Adam
Butler Jersey
, in Indianapolis INWith starting quarterback Josh
Allen out due to an elbow injury – one that will also force him to miss next
Monday’s game against the Patriots – the Buffalo Bills turned to Derek Anderson
(20/31, 175 yds, 3 INTs) over former second-stringer Nathan Peterman. The
results were still bad: while Buffalo’s offense was already inconsistent with
Allen and even worse with Peterman at the helm, Anderson did little to help the
unit.What also hurt the Bills was starting running back LeSean McCoy (2/1 yd)
suffering a concussion on just his second play of the day. Despite that, Buffalo
was able to hold its game against the Indianapolis Colts close for the first 15
minutes. However, the scoreless tie was broken early in the second period with a
Colts touchdown. Just five plays later, the Bills turned the football over when
Charles Clay (3/14 yds) lost a fumble.The give away set up the home team’s
second touchdown of the day – and it was far from done. After a Bills
three-and-out, Indianapolis again sliced through Sean McDermott’s defense:
marching 82 yards in nine plays, the Colts were able to score their third
touchdown of the second quarter. Following an interception by Anderson,
Indianapolis added three more points to take a 24-0 halftime lead.Coming out of
the half, the Bills produced their best drive of a day: the team went 56 yards
in 12 plays to get on the scoreboard with a Steven Hauschka (1/1) field goal.
Late in the third quarter, Buffalo was able to add two more points via a safety.
Cutting the deficit to 19 points can be seen as the team’s high point of the day
as the team went back to full collapse mode as soon as the fourth quarter
started.Just two plays into the final period, Anderson lost a fumble. Three
plays later, the Colts scored another touchdown to go up 31-5. A failed fourth
down attempt and another interception later, Buffalo was down 37-5. The
quarterback’s third pick of the day did not change anything but Indianapolis’
fantasy points. T’was a bad day for the Patriots’ next opponent.To watch
highlights of the game, click here.
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