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Sunday, December 20, 2009
Halftime observations in the AFC East

By Tim Graham

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- With all three AFC East games happening simultaneously, let's take a halftime spin around the division.

If all of these scores hold up in the second half, then the AFC East picture will come into clearer focus.

Here in Ralph Wilson Stadium, the New England Patriots are taking care of the Buffalo Bills thanks to a pair of pass interference penalties that made both touchdowns easier than they should've been.

A 9:24 field goal drive for the Bills to start the game left the Patriots with only nine offensive plays in the first quarter. The Patriots have 130 yards from scrimmage, but the Bills gave them an additional 64 yards in the second quarter on those pass interference calls near the goal line. They set up a 13-yard Randy Moss touchdown catch and a 1-yard Laurence Maroney run.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has only 68 yards passing. Maroney leads them in rushing with 40 yards. Bills running back Fred Jackson, meanwhile, has 69 yards on 11 carries, but the Bills haven't been able to get into the end zone.

The Tennessee Titans are putting a damper on the Miami Dolphins' playoff hopes. The Titans lead 17-6 in Nashville.

Dolphins back Ricky Williams has 55 yards, putting him over the 1,000-yard mark. Chad Henne was having a respectable first half, completing 10 of 16 passes for 120 yards, but he threw an interception in the closing seconds of the half at the Titans' 34-yard line, squandering a field goal possibility.

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has thrown two interceptions, but one big play has them ahead of the Atlanta Falcons, 7-3. The Falcons have one of the worst pass defenses in the league, allowing quarterbacks to compile a 98.2 season passer rating against them.

The Falcons have taken away the run, holding Thomas Jones to 30 yards on a dozen attempts. But the Jets are ahead because Sanchez connected with Braylon Edwards on a 65-yard bomb.