The State of the AFC East: Week 4


The State of the AFC East: Week 4
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The New York Jets
The scariest thing about the beating the Jets gave the Dolphins is that they did it without getting even average play from Ryan Fitzpatrick. Instead, the Jets just fed the ball to Chris Ivory, who appears to have bounced back from his injury, and he delivered to the tune of 166 yards on 29 carries (avg 5.7 YPC). The Miami defense apparently can’t stop anyone, but we’ll get to that in more detail momentarily.
Meanwhile, the Jets defense was dominant, holding Miami’s overhyped offense to a mere 226 total yards. This defense has all the component to make a top 5 unit and so far they’re delivering. Todd Bowles has got the unit firing on all cylinders and it only stands to get better with the return of Sheldon Richardson next week.
The Jets get to enjoy their division victory with a bye week.
The Miami Dolphins
Ding dong, Plastic Joe is gone. In a long overdue move, the Dolphins fired their head coach (over the phone!) after the debacle in merry old England. It’s been clear to everyone except Dolphins fans for the last 2 years that Joe Philbin didn’t have a clue, but the Dolphins, being the Dolphins, decided to wait for the least opportune moment to can the undead scrub. On top of a mid-season firing, Stephen Ross has decided to go with the tight end coach as the interim HC, because he looks and talks like a tough guy (presumably that’s the reason, I can’t think of another).
On the field, the Dolphins are a train wreck. The offensive line can’t keep Tannehill upright and, while the kid is undeniably a tough cookie in this day and age of flimsy QBs, it’s going to take a toll eventually. They can’t block well enough to establish the run and they can’t keep the QB safe long enough to get the ball to his receivers reliably. Combined with the woefully predictable play calling and lack of adjustments on offense and you can see why the Dolphins have barely managed to win one game so far.
Somehow the Dolphins are even worse on defense than on offense. The overpaying of Ndamukong Suh is looking more like Haynesworth 2.0 than ever before. This man was supposed to plug the middle of the defense, stuff the run, and create havoc in ways that would mask the deficiencies of the secondary and linebacker groups. Well, I can’t deny that Suh has gobs of talent and he appears to be very frustrated on the field (or just a piece of crap in general) due to the way he keeps kicking opposing players in the head “inadvertently”. What’s obvious to me and everyone else (including Dolphins fans for a change) is that the defensive scheme is about as vanilla as pre-season. It’s quite literally pathetic how easy it is to see the huge holes in the defense the Dolphins are putting on the field, even for a layman like myself. It defies comprehension how supposedly professional football staff members can’t seem to fix it.
Like the Jets, the Dolphins also get a bye week, though they will be reflecting on their dismal failure of a first quarter.
The New England Patriots
More proof that the universe is on their side (which in turn proves the Devil is controlling the universe or something), the Patriots get to come back from a bye week to face a shoddy Dallas defense and an offense without Dez Bryant or Tony Romo. Instead they get to pick on Brandon Wheeden and… Terrence Williams, I guess?
There’s not a lot to say about the Patriots this year. Tom Brady is on fire, so they will likely steam roll everyone they meet. This Dallas game will be an amusing warm up before the real Revenge Game in Week 6. New England 37, Dallas 23.
The Buffalo Bills
Oh, my poor Bills. If this season is going to be an up and down roller coaster of stunning successes followed by equally stunning failures, count me out. The Giants had absolutely no business coming into Buffalo and handing the Bills their second straight home loss. I could go on and on about the inequities of NFL officiating, but the simple fact is, the Bills were not prepared to fight to win this game. Listen, boys, until you start stringing wins of the quality you had over the Colts and Dolphins together, you’re not going anywhere except to next year’s draft. Pull your heads out of your butts and get your act together.
Offensively, this team looked as flat as it could possibly be. By the time they found some rhythm in the second half, it was too late, especially since we were giving away touchdowns with stupid, stupid penalties. Come on guys, 17 penalties? Even with about 5 of them being totally fabricated BS calls, that’s just absurd.
Defensively, well, I had faith in Rex’s ability to coach defense, if nothing else. The lack of production on the defensive side of the ball has been astonishing to me. Getting torched by Brady is one thing, but to allow Eli Manning to do the same thing to us is inexcusable. On top of that, the Giants had some success running the ball with the likes of Andre Williams and Rashad Jennings. Rex, figure out a way to defend against the quick pass or this will be a long, dark season.
The Bills get to take another trip south, this time to Nashville to face the Mariotas. Rex has a good track record against rookie QBs and the Bills DL should be looking to get back on track against a suspect OL in Tennessee. But after last week, I’m not counting on a superb performance. The Bills should win this one in a squeaker. Buffalo 23, Tennessee 20.


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