So the AFC East finished their 2 week of pre-season and what have we learned so far?
New York Jets:
Mark Sanchez was looking like he was about to pull ahead of the quaterback race in Nw York as he played well into the third quarter yesterday. He led the Jets to a 37-13 lead with 5 scoring drives but threw an interception in the red-zone and held on to the ball a bit too long on a 3rd down at the end of the first half. The Jets defense, which is supposedly led by a defensive genius in Rex Ryan, allowed Gabbert to throw for 13-16 and 165 yards. The Jets did look pretty good against the Jaguars as a whole but if the mistakes continue they will have a long season in 2013.
Key notes: Jets LB Quinton Coples left in the second quater with what looks like a hairline fracture to his ankle and will miss 3-4 weeks.
The Bills exotic defensive packages and no-huddle offense are coming together. Even when Leslie Frazier (Vikings head Coach) tells us that “We didn’t spend a lot of time in Mankato preparing to play Buffalo. … In this game, we took a different approach.” it is clear that the Bills defense is looking a lot better than last year. Offensively, the Vikings defense held the Bills starting team to two field goals and a pair of stops in the red zone and a turnover, questions still remain on the Bills offensive side of the ball. CJ Spiller has had 11 carries on 18 snaps this pre-season so far, looks like 2013 will give him a lot of touches if the pre-season is any indication.
Key notes: Kyle Williams took 17 snaps against Minnesota this weekend, a good sign for his return from injury. Stephen Gilmore is looking to be one of the best corners in the NFL. Shaun Powell has looked horrendous in his 8 attempts, averaging a 28.9 punt average. EJ Mauel’s has opened up a huge lead in the QB race in Buffalo but a knee injury that Marrone calls “very, very minor” will sideline him for the rest of the pre-season.
New England Patriots:
Tom Brady was nearly perfect after the knee injury scare against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers completing his first 11 passes, 8 of them en route to an 80 yard touchdown. Tim Tebow on the other had, looked to be confused in his outing proving he still has a lot to learn about his new offense. Tebow threw seven passes and completed just one for a total of minus-1 yard. He also threw an interception and rushed for 30 yards on six carries. New England’s defense also started strong, shutting down the Buccaneers after Michael Smith returned a kickoff 63 yards to the Patriots’ 42. All in all this is what we have come to expect from NEw England and they did not disappoint.
Key notes: Danny Amendola was a frequent target for Brady while the star signal-caller was on the field. The duo hooked up six times, including a 26-yard scoring play on the Patriots’ opening drive. Ryan Mallett was successful in relief of Brady, going 12-of-20 for 137 yards and a score.
The Dolphins loss to the Houston Texans was a tough pill to swallow not because of the score but due to a Knee injury sustained by Dustin keller that most likely ended his season as a Dolphin. The game itself was actually not bad for the Dolphins, despite the loss. Tannehill went for 10-15 and 141 yards and a touchdown, giving him 119.0 passer rating. Before the injury to Keller that talk would of been regarding the connections between Wallace and Tannehill, Wallace had 3 receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown. The Dolphins first-team defense, which prides itself in its swarming, aggressive style, played two-plus possessions in the first quarter against the Texans and is looking to be ready for the season.
Key notes: Among Dolphins’ draftees first-round pick Dion Jordan (shoulder) wasn’t in uniform and cornerback Jamar Taylor, the second-round pick, was in uniform but didn’t play in the first half. The Dolphins had their worst game penalty-wise, totaling five for 41 yards through three quarters.
By Sergio Peralta