With week 14 complete here is what we learned heading to week 15:
- The Jets are trying hard but falling closer to the top of the draft
- The Buffalo Bills are in the middle of a tough stretch
- The New England Patriots learned to travel
- The Miami Dolphins are slip sliding away
The Jets traveled to Minnesota and came out swinging, and giving Rex’s great record versus rookie QBs, this was a winnable game….not so fast Rex.!
The game started with an old fashioned Geno pick 6. Yea, you know? The kind that he has become so good at throwing. I am as patient a fan as you will find with NY roots (because lets face it, patience is not a virtue in the Big Apple and vicinity). However, one thing has become very clear, in year two, Geno is still in year one, because although he looked the part in training camp, he has not played that role in the season. Geno was a second round pick for a reason, he needed to sit and learn. Carry a clipboard for a while, iron some veteran’s socks and at times even clean his jockstrap, and Sanchez was that veteran.
After that pick 6 the young man settled down and actually played ok, but, ok is no longer good enough. The Jets lost and now face a road game to Tennessee, a place where even the worst of the worst can find success. Can they? I actually am not sure; I can see a nice lead squandered by yes! Another pick 6!
The Bills are learning what a real schedule looks like, because playing top teams week after week is something they have not done until now, and the welcoming is not pretty. However, I will say this about the Bills, they are resilient and don’t give up very easily. Many here have Doug “aka. The Saint” Marrone on the chopping block, but really? This season the AFCE has played the toughest schedule in many years, and the Bills, a team that had embraced 6 wins as their emblem, already have 7. Marrone may not be the dude that can take them to the next level, but how do you fire a HC that has a kid at QB that was a first but shouldn’t have been; another nobody ever heard of before he started game one last season; and the currents starter who was kicked out of just about everywhere he’s ever been and benched in favor of Tim God Tebow.. The Bills have a lot of talent, but no QB (welcome to our world, at least most of us). Marrone cannot be fired and the team must find a way to get more OL, LBs and a real QB (Bradford etc.).
This week they have Mr Rodgers and the Packers coming in for a short visit, and this is a team that actually embraces the cold (no home field advantage here). The Packers will find Buffalo to feel like Miami Beach and walk away with a win.
It is not a secret that the New England Patriots are a great home team and a serviceable away team (CK, I swear Surge didn’t ask me to write that). They made a wise choice, and after the fiasco in Lake Michigan they went directly to Southern California instead of the balmy North East. The result? A slow start, just to get everyone that feels very patriotic nervous, but a win and an important one. Brady and company are playing their best football of the season, have been for about 5-6 weeks now, and that spells trouble for the hopefuls in Denver and Indianapolis.
This week they host the Miami Hurricanes (at least the fans think they are a Hurricane), in a divisional battle. Not much pep talk is needed by Mr. Talker and Personality himself, to get this team motivated. This is a rematch of week one, when The Dolphins actually looked like a hurricane as they nailed and crucified the Pats. Divisional games are always tough, and if this game was in Miami I would have a very hard time picking a winner. Desperation is not enough, not when the Pats have not lost a regular season home game to an AFC opponent since George Washington was sworn into office a few years ago.
The Fins, oh yea the Fins! Ireland build a juggernaut with Ross’ money, and that burned cash is still stinging the CAP, but I will say one good thing, well maybe two: Its December and the games in Miami still matter (at least to the devoted blurry eyed ones); and slowly a QB is developing (Go ahead and copy/paste this to your pc). Tannehill is to be sanctified for having survived behind this very suspect OL for two years now. They did spend money, big money too on Fat Albert, but they learned why KC was not willing to splurge, old OL with miles on them will not last. Tannehill has played his role, and in year three, his numbers are there. He needs to improve in that phantom deep throw, but, no OL, no correct role players (where are you Marshall when we need you?) maybe the biggest culprits.
The Dolphins in my opinion have hit the road block that seems to affect Joe Philbin teams, the end of the year slump. Last year they held fate in their hands until week 17, but really much before that, only to squander it off. This year history repeated itself, and at 7-5 all they had to do was maintain that pace, beat the Ravens and go 3-1 to almost seal a playoff birth. That birth has become a total abortion as the Fins in very Philbinesque fashion lost at home to the Ravens and now face the Pats in Foxboro. Best case scenario? 9-7 and the playoffs will be another mirage.
It will be very interesting to see if Ross sticks with Philbin, especially since in three seasons he would still not have a winning season, even after so much of Ross’ cash has already been used up and burned away. My guess? Unless he goes 7-9, thus losing out, he stays.