Older AFCE

The State of the AFC East: Week 1

Older AFCE

The State of the AFC East: Week 1
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AFC Beast is a stupid term, let’s stop using it right now. After an interminable wait, Week 1 has come and gone and none of us had to go find solace in a bottle after a loss, which is pretty rare. Let’s take a look.
 
The Buffalo Bills
Talk about making a statement in Week 1. The Bills welcomed the Colts to Buffalo with open, blitzing arms. This defense is 100% for real, watch out ’85 Bears. Between the aggressive pass rush and the stifling coverage in the secondary, Andrew Luck looked like he was a rookie again. The Bills defense has made top 5 QBs look pedestrian the last few times they have met and the trend will likely continue.
Offensively, the Bills were also impressive. Tyrod Taylor looks like he might be able to pull off being a starting QB. Even without Sammy Watkins getting any action, the Bills had a successful day passing the ball to Percy Harvin and Charles Clay. The only dull spot on offense was LeSean McCoy’s lack of production, but we can safely attribute that to injury recovery and a new OL that hasn’t quite gotten on the same page yet.
Next up are the actually hated Patriots, also in Buffalo where the fans will be looking to set a new noise record for a stadium. It’s tough to bet against Brady vs Buffalo, but this is our year. Buffalo 24, New England 17.
 
The Miami Dolphins
Speaking of statements, the one made by the Dolphins was more like “don’t drink all the Kool-Aid just yet”. Even going on the road, a team like Washington should have been easy meat for the Dolphins, but they barely put together a win on the strength of a special teams TD, not something you can really rely on. The offense was anemic at best, with Tannehill never able to really get anything going and the running game virtually nonexistent.
The newly revamped and vaunted defense was also a let-down. The 114 million dollar man was unable to make the immediate and substantial impact on run defense that the Dolphins faithful were hoping for, as Miami allowed over 160 yards on the ground. But hey, a win is a win and the Redskins are just so bad that all of Miami’s shortcomings were not enough to lose them the game.
It’s on to Jacksonville in Week 2, another road game against a horrible team. I think the Dolphins rebound on both sides of the ball, Miami 27, Jacksonville 13.
 
The New York Jets
On Coach Bowles debut, the Jets came through in surprising fashion on both sides of the ball. The offense looked solid, even if they were only playing the Browns suspect defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick was in early 2011 form, taking advantage of the big targets he has on the outside in Marshall and Decker, as well as the power running game. The Jets offense easily outgunned the Browns one. Josh McCown was helicoptered into oblivion and Johnny Football came on the field.
Defensively, the Jets were as stifling as advertised, holding the Browns to a mere 10 points and gaining a whopping five turnovers. It remains to be seen how long Antonio Cromartie will be out, but he appears to have not torn his ACL, so the secondary may remain intact.
The Jets travel to Indianapolis on Monday night for a showdown with Andrew Luck. If Bowles takes a page out of Rex’s book, they might just come away with a win, but I don’t think Luck plays horribly two weeks in a row. Indianapolis 27, New York 23.
 
The New England Patriots
The Patriots were supposed to come into the season enraged over the Deflategate allegations. Brady looked as sharp as ever, if somewhat noodle armed, and Gronk was his monstrous self, but overall the performance on both sides of the ball left something to be desired. Sure, it was a seven point win, but I feel that with the state of the Pittsburgh defense, the Patriots should have been able to score more. Maybe Tom Brady really is declining.
On the topic of defenses, the Patriots are going to miss Revis and Browner so much. Even with the Steelers missing Martavis Bryant and LeVeon Bell, they still managed to put up 464 yards on offense. If the Patriots have to play a team with a defense that can slow them down (like Buffalo, maybe?), then their own defense might allow that team to steal a win.
I’ve already covered this matchup.

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