Well week 8 of the 2017 regular season is behind us. Some teams have played half their games and the rest will do that this week. So it’s a good time to take a step back and look at the division as a whole. Still going to rank based on last week’s results, but also want to do a season end projection. Here we go.
In last place, the Buffalo Bills. It seems that venturing out of the basement for too long has made the Bills homesick so they raced back to settle in the warming embrace of what’s comfortable; being a terrible football team. All the hope and optimism of September is gone and once the clocks turn back this weekend the season will be dark for the Bills. Rex was unusually quiet heading into last weekend’s tilt against the hated Patriots, many of us saw that as an ominous sign that Rex knew a reckoning was coming. And come it did. Tyrod seems to be working with EJ on reading only half the field, his receivers all seemed so shocked when a ball was actually catchable that they promptly dropped it and once Mike Gilleslee got his head knocked off by Hightower in the 1st quarter, the offense just plain gave up. And now the defense, it seems that Rex just can’t help himself. He knows that the best way to beat Brady is to not blitz, but send four rushers and put seven guys in coverage. Yet Rex just couldn’t bring himself to do it, time after time he sent blitzers after Brady and while they did hit him a few times, it just seemed to make him angry and better. All in all, when the best play of the day come from one of your fans throwing a marital aide out onto the field, you can pretty much say this isn’t your year. But never fear Bills fans, next year will DEFINITELY be the year!
That’s it for the losers this week.
For the first time in recent memory, the Miami Dolphins didn’t lose the bye week. So that’s good.
In second place, The New York Jets and their shiny two game winning streak. The Jets tried their best to lose this week, but they just couldn’t find a way to fall to the Cleveland Browns. Fitz looked like he’s not quite as angry this week now that he can’t say no one believes in him, maybe Sleepy Todd should start Hack next week just to rile the Bearded Wonder up again. Hmm, what else to really talk about? Not much, this was really one of those game you’d expect to be on in prime time this season so no one would watch…At least jets fans are now felling overly confident, so we get to see their hopes and dreams dashed again. Yes they have played most of the hardest games on their schedule, but let’s be realistic; they’re going to get swept by the Pats, lose the next Bills game and split with Miami. Getting to 6-10 is no easy feat, the only “gimmie” game left on their schedule is the 49ers and that’s on the West Coast so it’s not really a gimmie at all.
And onto the #1 team in the division. After the events of Monday, I hate to anoint them, but the Pats are certainly the best team in the division. Predictably they manhandled the Bills on offense. Tom Brady looked like, well Tom Brady as he threw for 313 yards and four touchdowns. The best part was really when he threw a long pass down to the Bills’ 5 (or so) that got called back, so on the very next play he threw another bomb to Hogan that resulted in a TD. It was really all too easy for the Pats on offense, Gronk was Gronk and somehow used black magic or the force to fool some guy who took his wife’s last name into trying to cover him one on one and that ended as we all would expect, 53 yards later in the endzone with Robert taking a bow (and his 69th career TD). Ironically though the Pats defense sucked balls in this game. If the Bills were even the slightest bit competent on offense, it might have been an actual game. But it wasn’t. So let’s talk about Bill Belichick being Bill Belichick and doing something remarkably stupid in trading away one of the best defensive players he had for basically nothing. Just 20 months ago, Bill was comparing Jamie to Lawrence Taylor, now he shipped him to Cleveland for less than he would’ve received had he just deactivated him and let him leave via free agency. This move is not going to prevent the Pats from winning the Super Bowl, but it definitely closed the gap between them and the rest of the league. I really hope that we’re not looking back on another one of “The Genius’” brilliant moves and saying it probably cost the Pats a shot at the championship.
So to the mid-season recap and final record predictions:
Current standings read as thus:
- Pats – 7-1
- Bills – 4-4
- Dolphins – 3-4
- Jets – 3-5
Here’s how I see the final standings reading:
- Pats – 14-2 (they shouldn’t lose another game, but they’ll slip up somewhere) #1 seed in the AFC
- Bills – 7-9 (If Shady gets healthy, maybe 8-8)
- Fins – 6-10 (they’re not as bad as we thought, but they still suck)
- Jets – 5-11 (they could surprise us and find a way to get to 6-10)