NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (5-1) vs NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-1)
Patriots 30 — Saints 27
The Patriots defense ranks 14th in yards allowed but 5th in points allowed and their performance on Sunday against the Saints kept the game close. Despite 4 lead changes the Patriots held the lead for all but 5 minutes of the game and the defense came up with a critical 4th quarter stop of the Saints giving Brady the ball with 1:13 to travel 70 yards with no timeouts. It took Brady a full 68 seconds to drive the team the 70 yards and score the winning touchdown. If I didn’t know Brady was 36 years old I would have thought he was much younger. He definitely played like he was only 33 or 34. The Patriots now travel to New Jersey next week to meet the New York Jets then return home to host the Miami Dolphins & Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Patriots were 3-3 at this time last year and then went on a 7 game winning streak There’s no reason to think this team can’t be 8-1 heading into their week 10 bye.
NEW YORK JETS (3-3) vs PITTSBURG STEELERS (1-5)
Pittsburgh 19 — Jets 6
The Jets defense ranks 4th in yards allowed and 15th in points allowed which has been good enough to keep most of their games close and this was the case against the Steelers. The problem is Geno Smith continues to turn the ball over and chooses the worse time to do it. Through 6 games Geno has thrown 10 INTs and lost 2 fumbles stats like this are what sunk Mark Sanchez. The score was 9-6 Steelers at the half but the Steelers drove 64 yards for a touchdown on their next drive and hit a field goal in the early 4th for their 19 points. Both of Geno’s interceptions came in the 2nd half with one on Pittsburgh’s 22 yards line and the next on the 16 yard line. The Jets next 3 are at home against the New England Patriots, and on the road to face the Cincinnati Bengals and home again to host the New Orleans Saints.
The 2012 Jets were also 3-3 before a 3 game losing streak left them at 3-6 and that looks to be the case again this year.
BUFFALO BILLS (2-4) vs CINCINNATI BENGALS (4-2)
Bengals 27 Bills 24 OT
“The young and rebuilding Bills have remained competitive. Their four losses have been decided by a combined 25 points” ~~~ ESPN Rapid Reaction. It seems like the Bills have been rebuilding for a decade now and come close but never get it quite done. Sundays game against the Bengals is the same story. QB Thad Lewis filling in for an injured EJ Manuel did a decent job leading the offense. His two 4th quarter drives for TD’s to tie the game and send it to overtime are as close as you can get. Unfortunately the Bills were pinned deep in their own territory on their one possession in OT and a decent punt return left the Bengals in position to put it away with a field goal. The Bills now travel to the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints before returning home to host the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Bills get to play both the Dolphins and the Saints as those teams come off their bye weeks. The Bills were 3-3 at this point last year before starting a 3 game losing streak and this schedule looks like it will produce the same results leaving the Bills at 2-7
The Dolphins (3-2) Host the Buffalo Bills next week then travel to New England for a meeting with the Patriots before returning home to host the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Dolphins were 2-3 at this point last year and then won 2 of the next 3 contests. A repeat performance in the next 3 games would have them at 5-3 and with a 2nd half schedule keeping them in the wildcard hunt.