Final Word: AFC East

December, 2, 2011
12/02/11
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 13:

"Gronk" on historic pace: New England Patriots second-year tight end Rob Gronkowski has been a force with 11 touchdowns in 11 games. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Gronkowski needs just three touchdowns to set a single-season scoring record for tight ends. San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers both share the NFL record with 13 touchdowns in a season.

[+] EnlargeRob Gronkowski
Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesRob Gronkowski is three touchdowns away from setting a single-season scoring record for tight ends.
Not road warriors: One of the biggest reasons the New York Jets are fighting for their playoff lives is their sudden struggles on the road. New York coach Rex Ryan was 11-5 on the road his first two seasons. But this year the Jets are 1-4 away from MetLife Stadium entering their must-win road game against the Washington Redskins. New York's only road win came in Week 9 against the Buffalo Bills.

Wild-card watch: Not only do the Jets (6-5) have to handle their business against Washington, New York also could use help from several teams this weekend. Perhaps the biggest game is the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) against the Cincinnati Bengals (7-4). Cincinnati currently holds the final wild-card spot in the AFC. Other games of interest are the Denver Broncos (6-5) against the Minnesota Vikings (2-9) and Buffalo (5-6) against the Tennessee Titans (6-5).

Chris Johnson vs. Bills: Titians tailback Chris Johnson has struggled all season. But, unfortunately for Buffalo, Johnson may be hitting his stride. Johnson is coming off an impressive 190-yard rushing performance in Tennessee's victory last week over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Johnson averaged 8.3 yards per carry. It's not a good matchup for Buffalo, which is 21st against the run.

Marshall chasing 1,000: Miami Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall is quietly chasing his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard season. Marshall has 59 receptions for 850 yards. Don't expect Marshall to get 150 yards this week against the Oakland Raiders. But he's a virtual lock for another 1,000-yard season with five games remaining. What's even more impressive about Marshall's season is that he's had to produce this year with two different quarterbacks: Matt Moore and Chad Henne.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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